Samburu villagers in northern Kenya of fear further violence after at least 31 police officers were killed over the weekend.
The officers were ambushed as they attempted to recover stolen cattle.
Internal Security Minister Katoo ole Metito said the "disaster" was the worst in Kenya's history and vowed to bring those responsible to justice.
But the religious leader, who did not want to be named, said he feared that the security forces could take revenge on the local community.
"The situation is very tense with heavily armed security personnel patrolling villages. We fear that the anger of these security people could fall on innocent civilians, as those who may have killed the policemen are nowhere now," he said.
According to him, more bodies still have to be found by officials.
Police spokesman Eric Kiraithe said 31 officers were killed in Baragoi, along with three of the attackers.
Kiraithe added that nine injured officers were in hospital.
The local Samburu and Turkana communities often steal cattle from each other and clash over grazing rights and access to water points.
Kenyan media reports that similar attack, in which 12 people were killed, took place two weeks ago.