INSECURITY

Children among four killed in Isiolo bandit attack

The Saturday attack happened as the family was herding their animals.

In Summary
  • An ongoing security operation to mop up illegal guns in neigbouring Marsabit county, has pushed the attackers believed to be from Rendile to raid Isiolo.

  • Some residents say the operation has exposed them to attacks from bandits over animals.

Security officials display weapons recovered in the ongoing operation in Marsabit.
DISARMAMENT: Security officials display weapons recovered in the ongoing operation in Marsabit.
Image: FILE

Two children were among four people killed by gunmen in Isiolo county during a livestock robbery.

The Saturday attack happened as the family was herding their animals.

Police identified the deceased as 18- month-old Kaluma Abdulahi,  Maulid Abdulahi, 10, Dima Biyo, 65, and Jamila Abdulahi, 45.

Two others were injured during the banditry attack in Manyatta Alio Matumolu, Degogicha.

More than 200 animals were stolen but police said they recovered some as the gang escaped towards Marsabit.

The bodies were taken to the local mortuary.

This is the second incident to happen in Merti within a week.

Last week, a man was shot and killed as he fetched firewood.

The motive of the killing is yet to be known.

Eastern police boss Rono Bunei however said the incidents are isolated and unfortunate. He vowed to pursue the attackers.

An ongoing security operation to mop up illegal guns in neigbouring Marsabit has pushed the attackers believed to be from Rendile to raid Isiolo.

Some residents say the operation has exposed them to attacks from bandits over animals.

Officials however said the operation will continue until at least 5,000 illegal firearms are retrieved.

A fortnight ago, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said although the multi-agency team deployed last month had restored peace in the vast county, the mopping of illegal weapons must be concluded as a long-term security strategy.

He said more than 200 guns, 3,000 ammunitions, a grenade and assorted bayonets have been recovered under Operation Rejesha Amani Marsabit.

"We need to recover more guns. We will review this operation when we have around 3,000 guns. We believe there are still many more guns in wrong hands," Matiang’i said.

The CS further said the curfew, which was extended by 30 days early this month, will be in place until after the August 9 General Election.

The extension is intended to facilitate the operation to stabilise a county that has been a theatre of brutal conflicts, claiming hundreds of lives over the years.

“We will stay on this assignment until this place remains peaceful. We have made assurances that we will not end the operation, until after the general election. We want this place to be peaceful before, during and after the general election,” Matiang’i said.

The operation is being undertaken by a multi-agency team of officers from the General Service Unit, Anti Stock Theft Unit and Rapid Deployment Unit.

The CS hailed the deployment of the security team saying it has succeeded in stopping ethnic conflicts that have ravaged the county.

“Since the deployment of this team, we’ve not had a single security incident in Marsabit. We are very proud of the team for what it has achieved so far. Life has gone back to normal and Marsabit residents are now able to go on with their business,” he said.

(Edited by Bilha Makokha)

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