Kenya deploys soldiers to region after massacre

Nairobi, Kenya (PANA) - The Kenyan authorities have dispatched army and police personnel backed by three helicopters in an operation against 400 heavily armed bandits who killed dozens of people in Turbi village of Marbasit District in northern Kenya on Tuesday.

The bandit attacks were believed to have left an estimated 80 people dead, according to locals. But police said the number of the dead was 45 people, in the third such incident this year.

Police said the joint security operation, aimed at flushing out the armed bandits who were believed to have crossed-over to the Ethiopian side of the border, managed to recover 5,000 goats and sheep, 10 camels and 60 cattle. Kenyan Police Director of Operations David Kimaoyo said here on Wednesday that the Department of Defence and his department had stepped up surveillance of the area following the early Tuesday morning deadly attacks.

"Following yesterday's banditry attacks in Turbi area in Marsabit by people believed to be from a neighbouring country, security forces on the ground have confirmed that 45 people were killed, 18 others were injured and are admitted in hospital," Kimaiyo said.

The attackers raided a school in the area, killing mostly school children, before driving away animals of unknown quantities.

Police said they shot dead dozens of bandits but did not make any arrests. "We do not know whether the attackers were Kenyans who crossed over to Ethiopia or if they were Ethiopians who crossed over to Kenya," Kimaiyo told journalists.

Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki signed a bilateral agreement with the Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi on joint-cross border operations.

Police said bilateral talks aimed at enhancing cross- border security are continuing.


Pan African News Agency
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