Attackers killed 32 villagers and burnt more than 150 houses in Kenya’s coastal region on Monday, the Red Cross said, the latest tit-for-tat attack in a long festering dispute between communities over land and water.
About 100 people have been killed in the last three weeks as the violence between the Pokomo and Orma communities escalates.
“There was a fresh attack in the Tana Delta this morning. As of now we have established 32 people are dead,” Abbas Gullet, head of the Kenyan Red Cross, told Reuters.
The violence follows deadly riots in Kenya’s main port of Mombasa after the assassination of a radical Muslim cleric. The two events were unrelated but exposed deep social, political and sectarian divides that could lead to more violence ahead of a presidential election next year.
Efforts by top government officials – among them Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who visited the area after an earlier attack – have so far failed to defuse the tensions.
The Red Cross said Monday’s dead included seven police officers, 12 male civilians, eight children and five women.