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Isiolo bandit attack leaves five dead, scores injured

By Winfrey Owino | June 20th 2021

Bullet cartridges captured during a suspected bandit attack. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Five people have been killed in what police term a banditry attack in Isiolo.

The Saturday night attacks in Madowale village left scores injured.

While confirming the incident, Isiolo County Commissioner Herman Shambi said the perpetrators are believed to have come from the neighbouring Wajir County.

He said preliminary reports indicate the attacks ensued following a dispute over pasture, water sources and grazing fields.

“We have lost five people to the attacks, three women and two men. From the look of the things, the death toll is expected to rise,” Shambi told The Standard.

"The attackers have even destroyed a borehole which serves as a source of water for the community and their livestock.

He affirmed that more resources including security personnel have been mobilised to beef up security in the area as they pursue the bandits.

Isiolo Woman Representative Fatuma Jaldesa termed the attacks as painful and condoled with the families of the victims.

She noted the banditry attacks had claimed over 40 people in less than a year.

“The attack was well planned, coordinated with ill intentions of displacing our people,” Jaldesa said. “It is a well-known fact that the bandits are dropped and picked using vehicles at designated points. We demand the immediate arrest of the owners of the vehicles and the financiers of these heinous acts,” she noted.

She noted the destruction of property and the only source of water is part of the larger strategy to discourage settlement and displace the indigenous people.

“This is unacceptable and we will resist the annexing of even a single inch of our land,” the leaders warned.

The Isiolo-Wajir border conflict comes barely a week since six people were killed in a game park gun battle leaving several others nursing gunshot wounds.

This was after a fight ensued between two rival groups of herders in a game park in Isiolo County.

One side, from Leruko village in Kipsing location, were reported to have driven their cattle and goats to a drinking point along Isiolo River within Buffalo Springs National Reserve.

Their rivals from a village in Ngaremara location allegedly laid a rustling ambush that led to a fierce exchange of gunfire on Saturday, June 12, afternoon.

Security personnel moved in and restored calm in the park which is a Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) protected area that is under the management of the Isiolo County government.

 [Additional reporting by Lydiah Nyawira]

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