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15 arrested over killing of camels

By Ali Abdi | March 15th 2016 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Fifteen people suspected to have shot dead 11 camels along the volatile Isiolo-Meru border on Saturday have been arrested.

Isiolo County Commissioner George Natembeya said yesterday that a rifle with 45 rounds of ammunition was also recovered from the suspects.

The attack against herders from Isiolo at Shab Hills in Mutuati division is suspected to have been carried out by agro-pastoralists from Meru. One camel also suffered serious injuries in the attack.

The herders were grazing their animals when they were ambushed and their camels rounded up and later shot dead. No one was injured in the incident.

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One of the owners, Rashid Maalim, said about 20 armed men struck at around 3pm, rounded up the animals and shot them dead at point-blank range without any provocation.

"The camel herders had not invaded any private property. Besides, there are no farms there and we were grazing on fallow land. The attack was unjustified," said Mr Maalim.

A second herder, Mohammed Yarrow, said he lost four camels in the attack and appealed to the police to arrest the culprits.

"We do not want to retaliate and appeal to the Government to take quick action. We are herding our animals to feed our families and we cannot accept economic sabotage," said Mr Yarrow.

The herders said they lost stock worth about Sh3 million.

Isiolo Governor Godana Doyo attributed the incident to the simmering boundary row with Meru. "The attackers were incited by their leaders. They do not want Isiolo people in the disputed areas and yet the matter has not been resolved. This criminal act must stop," said Mr Doyo.

The Governor called on the Government to resolve the boundary dispute.

Police from Isiolo and Igembe North were deployed to the area to quell the tension.

The suspects were expected to be charged at the Maua Law Courts.


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