Kenyan herdsmen torch luxury lodge in troubled Laikipia region

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenyan herdsmen burnt down a luxury safari lodge owned by a white conservationist on Wednesday, a neighbouring ranch owner said, the latest attack to take place in the drought-stricken Laikipia area.

The attack on the Mukutan Retreat, where guests can pay more than $650 (£523) per night according to travel websites, followed a military operation to restore law and order in the area.

Kenyan security officials and the lodge's owners were not immediately available for comment.

Insecurity in Laikipia has spiked in recent months as armed cattle herders searching for scarce grazing drive tens of thousands of cattle onto private farms and ranches. A dozen people have been killed.

Some lawmakers have said the violent land invasions were being stoked by politicians seeking votes from particular ethnic blocs in a national election scheduled for August.

A recent victim was Tristan Voorspuy, a dual British-Kenyan national, who was shot dead this month.

(Reporting by Duncan Miriri; editing by Richard Lough)

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