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Last Updated: Saturday, 16 July, 2005, 15:41 GMT 16:41 UK
Extreme tension in Kenyan village
By Adam Mynott
BBC News, Turbi, northern Kenya

Villager stands in front of dead bodies
Villagers feared they were all going to be killed
The death toll from the attack on the village of Turbi in Kenya has continued to rise all week.

In the dusty town straddling one of the main roads leading through northern Kenya towards Ethiopia, there is an atmosphere of extreme tension.

As we drove into Turbi, flames were rising from five houses which had belonged to relatives of the Borana clan, who are accused of carrying out the savage attack on the village.

They had been burnt as retaliation for what had happened.

I was led through the village by Isako Mula - a young Gabra herdsman who had lost a young brother in the attack.

There is no doubt they wanted to kill us all
Guwe Sako
Turbi head teacher

He showed me the blood-stained soil where his brother Roba had died.

He pointed out the body of one the Borana raiders, which had been left unburied by the roadside.

We went to the school where three children had died, some in a hail of bullets, others from machete blows.

The head teacher, Guwe Sako, said the attack came without warning.

"I and some of the children had just arrived at the school when the firing started.

"There is no doubt," he said, "they wanted to kill us all."

Revenge fears

There has been long-running tension between the Gabra and Borana clans over a cocktail of issues: local political rivalry, access to water, grazing for their herds of goats and cattle, and land.

Isako Mula said he had lost many goats in the raid, and he believes the Borana want to drive them out of Turbi altogether.

The main fear, which in the view of many is now a certainty, is that there will be an attempt by the Gabra to avenge the deaths of their loved ones.

It is thought this is unlikely to happen while there is an increased security presence on the ground, but it will wait until the troops and police have gone.

It all adds to the sickeningly tense atmosphere, not just in Turbi, but in the whole district.

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