Residents of Marsabit County have Sunday woken up to the sad news of a deadly attack by suspected Ethiopian militiamen even as the national population and housing census kicked off last night.
Five people have reportedly been killed and another four seriously injured in the gun attack in Forole Location, North Horr Sub-County.
The suspected Ethiopian attackers have since crossed the border back to their country.
While confirming the incident, Forole Chief Mamo Gonicha told the Nation by phone that the attack took place at 4am Sunday morning at Forole watering point where the herders were sleeping after coming from the grazing zones Saturday.
“It is true that there was an attack which left five dead and another four persons seriously injured at around 4am this morning. The attack was executed by the Ethiopians who ambushed the herders while sleeping around the Forole borehole, “Chief Gonicha said.
Chief Gonicha said that among the dead were four teenage girls while fifth one was an elderly man.
Also confirming the attack was County Police Commander Steve Oloo.
Mr Oloo told the Nation that the militiamen, believed to be cattle rustlers, stormed the area at around and started shooting at the residents before fleeing with an unknown number of livestock.
He added that police are yet to establish the exact number of the attackers, believed to have come from Alibare in Ethiopia.
Among the injured were also teenagers whom he said sustained serious gunshot wounds and were taken to Forole Dispensary for treatment.
Chief Gonicha also confirmed that the attackers stole an unknown number of goats.
Commenting on the same, North Horr MP Chachu Ganya called on the security agencies to fully take charge and end the incessant attacks perpetrated by the Ethiopians in the area.
Mr Ganya blamed the Ministry of Interior for the lapse in security in the area which he said makes it possible for the foreigners to sneak into the country and cause mayhem.
He wants Interior CS Fred Matiang’i to act, saying that attacks have increasingly become worrying to the residents who now live in fear.
He added that the tension in the area is likely to hamper the ongoing population census as residents might not participate due to the fear of more attacks.
The attack come only a few hours after the launch of the enumeration exercise in the county, with Governor Mahmud Ali and County Commissioner Evans Achoki being the first to be counted.
During the launch, Governor Ali assured the residents that there was enough security to ensure the exercise runs smoothly, only for the attack in Forole to happen some hours later.
The Forole attack happened barely a few months after a similar one in May where 11 people were killed by Ethiopian militiamen who hoodwinked residents of Ulan village into attending a peace meeting over a disputed water point only to open fire on them.