At least 9 feared dead at Kenya-southern Sudan border

08:25, June 15, 2011      

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At least nine Kenyan herders are feared dead in attack by suspected Toposa militiamen from southern Sudan along the common frontier, officials said on Tuesday.

The Toposa militia is reported to have stolen 10,000 animals during a heavy fighting in Kaemongor villages in Loruth location, about 20 km northwest of Kenya-southern Sudan border.

An eyewitness Esibitar Lotorube said the raiders attacked the village on Sunday night, forcing him to trek for two days to look for the mobile network to report the incident to the Kenyan authorities.

Lotorube said the raiders were heavily armed with machine-guns when they engaged the herdsmen in a heavy fighting in the village.

Turkana district administrator Jack Obuo and the area police chief Bernard Nyakwaka said they received the information of the attack on Tuesday morning.

Obuo said they have dispatched security officers to verify the death and the number of animals stolen by the attackers. "Right now I am not in position to give more facts about the attack, but we have dispatched our security team to verify the death report, I will get to you as soon as they return from the incident," Obuo said on Tuesday.

He said he heard that some militia were also killed during the exchange of fire between them and the herdsmen.

Obuo vowed to move to the ground to assess the situation. Local civic leader James Lolopo Eregae said most of the victims killed in the village were women aged between 20 and 35.

Eregae accused the government of working delaying tactics to respond to the raids. He said in the past week, several people have lost lives and dozens of animals to Sudanese raiders.

Last month, Toposa raiders crossed into the country and attacked herdsmen at Kadiengetom village and drove 260 cattle towards Loile in southern Sudan.

Most the Sudanese raiders constantly attacked herdsmen and driving a way dozens of animals. Eregae said constant attack by the militia have made people vulnerable and left in abject poverty.

Source: Xinhua
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