About 2,000 men armed with assorted weapons attacked villages in Eldoret during the post-election violence, the High Court sitting in Nakuru was told on Monday.
Witness Daniel Mwangi Ng’ang’a, who lived at Kiambaa village, said there was fear and tension among residents in the area before the violence erupted.
He said the attackers were divided into two groups; one burnt houses while another surrounded the Kiambaa KAG church, where 17 people were killed inside the church. Only seven have been identified.
“I ran to the church after our home was attacked but when I got there I saw another group and hid in a bush,” he said.
The witness said that when he returned home, he found his brother who was disabled had been killed. His uncle who was with him at the time succumbed to injuries at the hospital.
“I was traumatised and I did not even tell police for many days. They were young men of around 15 to 18 years. They had concealed their faces with mud,” he added.
He was testifying in a case in which four people - Stephen Leting, Emmanuel Lamai, Clement Lamai and Julius Rono - have been charged with murdering seven people at Kiambaa church in January.
Another witness, Mrs Njoki Kimani told the court that her husband was killed in the church together with two daughters-in-law.
Mr Justice David Maranga is hearing the case.
Mrs Kimani said she hid in a latrine with other people but the attackers noticed them and ordered them out.
According to her the second accused (Emmanuel Lamai) rescued her since he knew her.
The witnesses said their attackers were known to them. One of them, Mr Joe Muigai, said one of the accused had contested for a civic seat in the elections.
Hearing continues on Tuesday.