52 killed in Kenya territory clash, officials say

Story highlights

  • The Red Cross says 52 people were killed
  • The victims belonged to a community of semi-nomadic cattle herders
  • Farmers attacked because their land had been invaded by the herders
  • Police are patrolling the area

Tensions between semi-nomadic cattle herders and farmers in southeast Kenya sparked an attack on the herders Wednesday that left as many as 52 people dead, officials said.

A majority of those killed were women and children, police said.

The tensions and rivalry that resulted in the violence have been ongoing for decades in the Tana River area, said Joseph Kitur, deputy provincial police officer in Kenya's Coast Province.

The most recent clashes began last week when the Orma, a community of semi-nomadic herders, invaded farms belonging to the Pokomo.

The Pokomo responded by attacking Orma huts Wednesday morning, killing 31 women, 11 children and six men, Kitur said. The Kenyan Red Cross put the number of fatalities higher, at 52. Forty-three of the victims had deep cuts and nine were burned, the Red Cross said through its Twitter account.

The farmers also captured 200 cattle belonging to the Orma.

Police were patrolling the area to prevent any further clashes, Kitur said.

      CNN recommends

    • pkg clancy north korea nuclear dreams_00002004.jpg

      North Korea nuclear dream video

      As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
    • Photos: Faces of the world

      Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
    • pkg rivers uk football match fixing_00005026.jpg

      How to fix a soccer match

      Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
    • No Eiffel Towers, Statues of Liberties, Mt. Rushmores, Taj Mahals, Aussie koalas or Chairman Maos.

      15 biggest souvenir-buying no-no's

      It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.