Six people, among them two children, were on Friday killed by armed bandits in Tractor Village near Isiolo Town.
According to residents of the village along Isiolo-Marsabit road, eight people were killed, but deputy police boss for Eastern Province Njoroge Mbugua said they found six bodies.
Police suspect that the attacks were in retaliation to Thursday raids in Malbe Shilmi near Shaba hills in Tigania East District that saw a herder killed and two others injured.
Four of the victims were asleep in their huts when they were shot around 4am, while the two 12-year-old pupils at Ngaremara Primary School were dragged out of their huts and shot as their parents watched.
A sobbing Mrs Veronica Arunye, the mother of one the pupils, said that the bandits were looking for men in the homesteads when they came to her hut and snatched her son.
She lamented the absence of government security when the bandits attacked them.
Learning in Arimet, Tractor, Lowangila and Ngaremara primary schools was paralysed as more than 700 pupils stayed away.
The pupils joined their parents to protest the killings by erecting roadblocks between Nomads’ Orphans Home and Tractor Village along the busy highway.
The high tension in the area is threatening to spread to Isiolo Town.
Transport between Isiolo and other towns such as Archers, Wamba, Marsabit and Moyale was paralysed and police escort was required as vehicles were stoned and windscreens smashed.
The Tigania East DC’s official vehicle was caught in the mayhem, but none of the officers it was carrying was injured.
The officers had been sent to clear the highway to allow military trucks, tourist vehicles and public service vehicles to pass safely.
Friday’s killings came two days after a local NGO held a peace meeting between the warring communities.