Sunday, August 26, 2012

I saw gang kill my 11 children and wife

August 26,  2012

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Posted  Friday, August 24  2012 at  23:30
In Summary
  • One of the hospitalised man’s remaining two young ones still missing following Wednesday morning attack on Riketa Village
  • The attackers first surrounded the village, blocking all the escape routes
  • Women and children bore the brunt of the carnage as they were trapped in their burning homes while the men fought the invaders outside
The murder of his wife and 11 of their 13 children by raiders who descended on Riketa Village, a hamlet of about 500 people, early Wednesday morning left Mr Godana Bodole, 58, devastated.
His wife and some of the children died in the inferno that engulfed their hut after the raiders set it on fire while others were hacked to death or shot with arrows as they tried to escape.
One of children is still missing and Bodole fears the child could either have been killed or drowned in nearby Tana River as he attempted to swim to safety.
Eight-year-old daughter Fatuma Godana, who was in the hospital with him, is the only family member he is left with.
Fatuma suffered serious burns in the limbs and a cut on the head but is in a stable condition at Witu Hospital, where she and others are receiving treatment.
Such was Bodole’s pain and sorrow that he could barely speak, managing only a few words to explain what transpired.
According to Bodole, the raiders struck at around 5am, as a cool breeze swept across the delta, lifting the canopy of heat and allowing the villagers to catch some sleep.
Bodole said the raiders, whom he estimated to be more than 100, were armed with pangas, bows and arrows while a few had guns.
“A fellow villager who was outside then and saw the group as it surrounded the village raised the alarm,” Bodole recalled. “The gang moved in and started attacking those who were emerging from the houses.
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“They also set the houses on fire.”
Women and children bore the brunt of the carnage as they were trapped in their burning homes while the men fought the invaders outside. The men, some of whom died, had panga cuts.
At Witu Hospital, middle-aged Mrs Diram Gura was attending to her young niece who was rescued by well-wishers when they found her roaming around the village.
“I was told that my niece was alone, injured,” said Mrs Gura told the Nation. “I rushed to where she was and brought her to hospital.”
The whereabouts of the girl’s parents were unknown, amid fears that they, too, could have been killed. (Read: Minister on the spot over Tana clashes)
Attackers were well prepared
Next to their bed another elderly woman, Mama Maimuna Abarufa, was nursing a young girl she found disoriented by the roadside and brought to hospital.
At Malindi District Hospital, Jillo Wario and Abdi Guyo told of their ordeal.
Mr Wario concurred with Mr Bodole that the attack occurred at dawn and the raiders could have numbered 50 to 80 and were heavily armed.
“It appears the attackers were well-prepared because at least 20 people were stationed near each manyatta and the main entry was well covered by men armed with guns and spears,” he said.
Some of the raiders wore dreadlocks while others covered their heads and faces with a red cloth, Mr Wario added.
He said the attackers first shot in the air several times, probably to create a panemonium, and then started attacking the villagers, with some of them shouting “let us finish this rubbish”.
“We were caught unawares,” Mr Wario added. “Whoever tried to escape was met at the entrance of the village and cut with a panga.
“The attackers were ruthless; they even attacked babies and also set the manyattas on fire, killing those who could have been rescued.”
Mr Wario said he did not know the whereabouts of his two sisters.
The attackers first surrounded the village, blocking all the escape routes, Mr Guyo said, adding: “It was as if an army was attacking helpless and unarmed villagers.
“I had never experienced such a morning and I would like to quickly forget it. It is by God’s mercy that some us survived. I feel very helpless.”
He then stared at the ceiling: “I wonder where the government was.”

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