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Protest death toll in west Kenya rises to 7: police

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) East Africa teams are working overtime in Kenya. PHOTO MSF NAIROBI

Nairobi, Kenya | AFP | Seven people have been killed in Kenya’s flashpoint west since protests erupted after the announcement of disputed poll results, police sources said Sunday, taking the total number killed across the country to 16.

“We have three bodies that were taken to the main mortuary in Kisumu, we also have one in Homa Bay, and there’s one in Migori and two in Siaya,” a senior police officer said on condition of anonymity as he is not permitted to speak to the media.

This total includes one death in Kisumu county and one in Siaya already reported by AFP Saturday.

“These are people killed in the confrontations with officers since Friday night,” said the officer.

A second senior officer corroborated the figures, and said the region, a stronghold of defeated opposition leader Raila Odinga, had returned to calm Sunday.

“We haven’t had any problems since late last night, let’s say from midnight. The area is calm but we are still maintaining our presence in the hotspots which are prone to chaos just to ensure calm returns.”

Angry opposition supporters took to the streets directly after President Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the victor Friday night in a hotly disputed election on Tuesday which Odinga claims was rigged.

Residents of Nairobi slums, and in the western city of Kisumu, threw rocks at police and burned tyres, while officers responded with tear gas and in some cases, live ammunition.

Eight bodies were taken Saturday to the Nairobi city morgue, most of them with gunshot wounds, from the protest-hit slums of Mathare, Kibera and Kawangware since Friday night, a senior police official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

On Saturday morning, an AFP photographer saw the body of a young girl whose family said she had been shot in the back while standing on their balcony in Mathare.

Interior Minister Fred Matiangi denied Saturday that police had fired on “peaceful protesters” referring to those in the streets as “criminal elements”.


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