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Cattle raiders kill 30 Kenyan policemen

posted 12 Nov 2012, 04:56 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 12 Nov 2012, 04:56 ]

Cattle raiders kill 30 police officers, more injured including civilians during ambush in northern Kenya's bandit-prone Samburu region.

 SAMBURUKENYA (NOVEMBER 11, 2012) (CITIZEN TV) -  At least 30 Kenyan police officers were killed when cattle rustlers ambushed them in the remote northern county of Samburu, in Kenya.

Local media reports put the death toll of security officers at 30, with several wounded. The number of civilian casualties is still unknown.

A local Samburu administrator who did not want to be named put the death toll at 32, adding that 11 other police officers were seriously wounded, including one who had both legs blown off.

He accused the government of not being serious in eliminating the problem.

"We have lost so many lives, we have lost government officers and we have lost civilian Samburus. This is a very sad day. It is actually a characteristic of a very dysfunctional government," said an unnamed local leader.

Osman Warfa, the provincial commissioner for the vast Rift Valley province told Reuters on Saturday (November 10) that the attack was carried out using guns and anti-personnel bombs.

Authorities had initially put the death toll in Saturday's clash at four. They said raiders from the ethnic Turkana community who had stolen cattle from members of the Samburu community ambushed and killed police who were pursuing them.

Security officials also said that they were reviewing their terms of engagement in the area and were holed up in security meeting from early Monday.

"There have been a few arrests and this one will continue. The criminals who committed this crime will have to face the law one way or the other. On the other hand we are reviewing our concept of operation in that area and ensuring this kind of killings shall not be repeated," said Kenya police spokesperson,eric Kiraithe.

The two community frequently raid cattle from each other and fight over grazing land and watering points.

Samburu county has a national game reserve and neighbouring Turkana county is where explorer Tullow Oil struck the country's first promising oil find earlier this year.

In September, dozens of villagers were killed by armed raiders in the coastal county of Tana River, creating security concerns ahead of a presidential election scheduled for March next year.