Northern Kenya tense after police deaths

Nov. 12, 2012 at 11:19 AM
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NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- The situation in northern Kenya is "very, very tense" after weekend attacks left more than 30 police officers dead, a religious leader said.

Kenyan police spokesman Eric Kiraithe confirmed that at least 31 police officers and three attackers were killed when authorities tried to seize stolen cattle in eastern Rift Valley province, the BBC reports.

A religious elder, who spoke with the BBC on condition of anonymity, said the community in the region was worried about a violent response from Kenyan forces.

"The situation is very, very tense with heavily armed security personnel patrolling villages," he said.

Kenyan Internal Security Minister Katoo ole Metito said those responsible for the attacks would be brought to justice.

Violence over water and pastureland in the Tana Delta left more than 100 people dead in September. Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki sacked his assistant minister for livestock in response to the violence.

Human Rights Watch said more action was needed from Kenyan authorities as politicians and organizers are suspected of encouraging attacks in the Tana Delta, along the country's western coast.

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