Three herders were on Saturday shot dead and 200 camels stolen in the volatile Mulango area in Isiolo County.
The deceased, who were buried on Sunday morning at Taqwa Muslim Cemetery, were killed while herding camels at the disputed grazing field at around 11am.
The bandits, believed to be drawn from within Isiolo and a neighboring county, also stole, among others, a G3 rifle from a Kenya Police Reservist (KPR) at Taqwa estate in Isiolo town.
Following the attack, violence rocked the key town paralyzing transport along the Nairobi -Moyale highway. Vehicles plying the route were blocked at Kambi Garba, about 5km from Isiolo town, forcing business premises to shut down.
Police were forced to fire teargas to restore calm.
Confirming the incident, County Commissioner George Odoming cautioned residents against taking the law into their hands. Odoming assured them of security and pledged action against the perpetrators.
Speaking during the burial, however, Somali Council of Elders leaders called for the deployment of the GSU and KDF to restore order as is currently ongoing in other bandit hotspots in the North Rift.
An elder, Abdullahi Mohamed, blamed the State for laxity claiming the police took more than five hours to respond to their distress calls and collect the bodies.
Mulango is 30km west of Isiolo town and close to the proposed site of Isiolo resort city.
Queries were also raised as to the capacity of the Rapid Deployment Unit (RDU) officers stationed at Mulango over the efficiency of an armored vehicle in their disposal following the transfer of two officers, including a driver, last week.
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More than 10 people have been killed in the area since the start of the year, 2023.