Police were ambushed and dozens were slaughtered. Now the military is being sent in.
Kenya's National Security Council, chaired by President Mwai Kibaki, said today that soldiers will join a police-led operation in the Samburu region. But it will take some time to have "actual boots on the ground," said Col. Cyrus Oguna, spokesman for the Kenya Defense Forces.
Over the weekend, 38 officers were killed by heavily armed cattle rustlers, according to injured police reservists who were on the scene. Local media reports put the number killed at between 37 and 42. Many others were injured.
The police were part of an operation to recover cattle belonging to the Samburu tribe that had been stolen by the Turkana tribe, officials said. A large group of Turkana fired on police in a valley.
The Turkana and Samburu have been staging raids to steal each other's livestock for many years.
One of five prisoners receiving treatment for a suspected case of Ebola virus in Uganda escaped overnight Friday from the hospital at the center of the outbreak, a health official said.
"Should his results come back and he is positive, that causes us a lot of worry. So right now, we have resolved that the remaining prisoners will be cuffed on the beds for fear that they might also escape," said Dr. Jackson Amune, commissioner at the Ministry of Health.
The five inmates from Kibaale prison are among 30 people at Kagadi hospital with suspected cases of the virus. Two additional patients have confirmed cases, according to Doctors Without Borders.
Twin grenade attacks in Nairobi earlier this week were not the work of the Somali militant group Al-Shabaab, a Kenyan government spokesman said Wednesday.
"It was two young guys inspired by Al-Shabaab," said Alfred Mutua, "but not directed by Al-Shabaab leadership."
One suspect has been arrested, Mutua said, and authorities hope to arrest the second soon.
A truck filled with explosives barreled into a government complex in the heart of Somalia's restive capital on Tuesday, a brazen strike killing students registering for an education program.
More than 30 people were killed, said Lt. Col. Paddy Nkunda, an African Union forces spokesman. Along with the students and parents, the casualties included several federal government soldiers, the AU forces said.
"This is a carnage," said Col. Abdullahi Barise, the spokesman of the Somali police. Barise blamed Al-Shabaab, the Islamist movement with links to al Qaeda. But there has been no immediate claim of responsibility.
An English tourist kidnapped from a remote Kenyan resort is being held by Somali pirates in a remote corner of the lawless country, according to experts and security analysts in Nairobi.
"Gangs from Southern Somalia took her up the coast and then moved her several times," said Andrew Mwangura, a piracy expert and maritime editor of Somalia Report, an independent online publication.
Judith Tebbutt was abducted by armed men from a remote safari lodge near to the Somali border earlier this month. Her husband, David Tebbutt, was killed in the attack when he resisted, according to Kenyan police.
Tens of thousands of people across Southern Sudan went to the polls Sunday in a historic referendum that an international election observer said appeared to have been well-handled.
"There were very, very large numbers from the early hours of this morning all day long," said David Carroll, director of the Democracy Program at the Carter Center, in a telephone interview from Juba. "They were waiting patiently, they were in a happy, celebratory mood. They went through the process in an orderly way, largely. We saw a very meaningful, important process that the southern Sudanese are engaging in with a lot of passion."
By the time polls opened at 8 a.m., many Sudanese had already been standing on line for hours to cast their ballots on whether the south should declare independence or remain part of a unified Sudan.
Those who were still on line at 5 p.m. were allowed to remain there until they were able to vote, he said. "It's something that is clearly very, very important to the people of Southern Sudan."
[Updated at 7:43 a.m.] A court in Malawi has found a gay couple guilty of gross indecency and unnatural acts, according to witnesses who heard the verdict Tuesday.
Sentencing will take place May 20. The two young men face up to 14 years of hard labor.
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