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18 Killed In Kenya Bandit Attack

Security forces in northern Kenya have launched a major operation to flush out bandits who Wednesday raided a settlement in Mandera District and killed 18 people.

The early morning attack on Eldanaba centre on the border between Mandera and Wajir districts also left nine others seriously injured.

Murder victims included 13 women and three children. Police said the attackers, believed to be over 100 and armed with AK-47 standard assault rifles and G-3 automatics, attacked the settlement which is mainly inhabited by Garreh and Degodia clansmen.

A security contingent from the army and administration police who intervened during the attack were repulsed by the bandits.

Eyewitnesses said the attackers gathered women and children into houses and then set them on fire. Their charred bodies were later taken to a local morgue for post-mortem examination before they were buried in a mass grave.

The bandits reportedly retreated to Wajir district after their orgy of killings. Mandera district administrator, James ole Serian, confirmed the attack which he said was "inhuman". Speaking from Mandera town, on the Kenya-Ethiopia border, Serian said that the raiders, suspected to be from a rival clan, left corpses and several body parts strewn across the settlement.

He said six people, who fled during the attack, could not be accounted for. On learning of the attack, the administrator said, security personnel started tracking the bandits who fled towards Wajir, close to the Somalia border.

Wednesday's attack comes barely a week after North- Eastern provincial commissioner, Maurice Makhanu, brokered a peace pact between the two traditional rival clans.

Police suspect the incident was a retaliatory attack, following another one last week when the Garreh and Degodias attacked the Ajuran causing heavy casualties.


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