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Police operation aim to flush out Somalia bandits from Kora Park

by Robert Manyara and Fabian Mangera MWINGI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s security forces on Thursday arrested 14 suspects and seized two guns in a major operation to flush out suspected Somali bandits behind attacks in Kora National Park in Mwingi, northeast Kenya.

Regional Police Commander Gideon Amalla also confirmed that 500 camels were also driven out of the park as part of efforts to address a crisis that was boiling pitting residents of Mwingi and the herders.

Amalla said they had also seized two guns believed to have been used in attacking locals. "The operation will continue until we are satisfied the situation is manageable," he said from the ground.

This follows Monday’s and Tuesday’s incidents in which five locals were killed by the Somali herders in a clash over pasture.

The park is in the neighboring Tana River County and the grazers had been encroaching there heading to Mwingi where they clashed with the residents in villages.

Tension remains high in the region after several houses were also burnt.

"More officers have been deployed to the area to maintain law and order," Amalla said.

Armed with guns, the bandits ambushed several homesteads at the volatile border of Kitui and Tana River counties in the latest wave of senseless violence, which has so far claimed 30 lives since2016, maimed dozens and displaced hundreds of families.

Police said the security operation had been ordered in the area to drive away the Somali herders in the area as part of efforts to contain the violence.

More officers were sent to the area to contain the situation amid claims of plans for retaliation.

The villagers have reportedly left their homes and are now camping in bushes in fear of attacks raising tension.

Local leaders have appealed for more action to tame the situation.

The affected homesteads are near the volatile border of Kitui and Tana River counties.

Several schools have closed down following incidents of insecurity in the area.

There have been increased cases of clashes between communities grazing animals over pasture.



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