LODWAR, Kenya, May 1 (Xinhua) -- Kenyan authorities confirmed on Monday that five people were killed and an unknown number of others injured in retaliatory attacks between Pokot and Turkana tribesmen in the common border in northwest Kenya.
Baringo County Commissioner Peter Okwanyo said security has been beefed up in the volatile border region of Turkana and Baringo Counties after suspected armed Pokot bandits also killed one person on Friday at Lokori in Turkana, driving away an unknown number of animals toward Lomelo in Turkana County.
"It has been confirmed that three men and two women were shot dead. A team of officers, backed up by National Police Reservists, responded and contained the situation," Okwanyo said.
He said the five were killed by bandits believed to be Turkanas from Nachola area of Baragoi who had passed through Kamugen area while heading to Kapedo.
He said security forces have been sent to the restive area to pursue the raiders and also restore calm.
"Currently, the area calm but still tense," Okwanyo said.
Baringo County Police Commander Peter Ndung'u did not confirm the deaths, but said police officers and the Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) have been deployed to beef up security.
Ndung'u urged residents to remain calm as the government works to repulse the bandits and restore calm.
Clashes between the rival cattle herding pastoralists in the region are common, with herders often carrying guns to protect their animals, but the recent fighting has been unusually heavy.
Livestock herding is the main livelihood and source of income in northern Kenya and some parts of eastern Kenya, and the hike in cattle thefts threatens to ignite cross-community reprisals and raids that could set the stage for a surge in ethnic fighting in the region.