Ten dead in grenade attack on Kenyan camp for displaced
NAIROBI (AFP) – At least 10 people were killed Sunday in a grenade attack on a camp for displaced people in the far northeastern tip of Kenya near the borders with Somalia and Ethiopia, police said.
“We have lost 10 people after a grenade attack. Those killed were in one of the IDP (internally displaced people) camps,” where people have been staying after fleeing recent attacks, said a police officer in Mandera county, two days after inter-clan violence claimed nine lives in the region.
The attack took place in an area where the Garre and Degodia clans have been feuding for several months. The violence has since spread to neighbouring Wajir county.
It also occurred as leaders from the region met officials from the National Cohesion and Integration Commission in Nairobi to reconcile the two warring communities.
Kenya’s police chief David Kimaiyo said that some of those leaders may have been behind the latest violence.
“We have summoned all elected leaders from Mandera and Wajir counties to be questioned over the attacks between the two communities in those regions. This includes governors, senators, members of parliament, women representatives and county representatives,” he said.
“They must come and clear their names because we strongly believe some of them are involved in fanning the violence.”
Nine people were killed last Friday in two separate incidents linked to the Garre-Degodia violence, four in Mandera county and five in Wajir in what police said was a revenge attack.
The Kenyan government announced in May that it had sent police reinforcements and was planning to deploy soldiers to restore peace in Mandera county.
The Mandera region has seen a series of attacks in recent months, including bomb blasts and shootings. Several police officers have been killed or targeted by gunmen.
While no group has claimed responsibility, Kenyan police have previously blamed such attacks on supporters or members of Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab insurgents.
Kenya sent soldiers into Somalia to fight the Shebab in October 2011.
Most attacks have been along Kenya’s volatile northeastern border with Somalia, although both Nairobi and Mombasa have been targeted as well.