Ten people were killed on Thursday when armed raiders torched more than a dozen houses in Kenya’s Tana River area, the Red Cross said, violence police say is linked to upcoming elections.
Five children and two women were among the dead. One child lay dead in the dirt still wearing his school backpack, Reuters television footage showed. It also showed women wailing over the slain bodies and the ruins of several grass-thatched homesteads still smoldering several hours after the attack.
The raid was the latest in a series of tit-for-tat killings that are ostensibly part of a longstanding grazing land and water dispute between two tribes.
On Wednesday, however, police said several politicians, business people and local leaders were still funding the violence, in which 100 people were killed in August.
Witness Idris Jale described piercing cries as the assailants surrounded homesteads and set them alight in the pre-dawn raid. “I knew mine was next so I quickly helped my wife and son jump out through the front window. They didn’t see us and we escaped through a swamp,” 42-year-old Jale said.