Mon | Nov 23, 2020

Death toll rises amid Kenya's rioting over disputed vote

Published:Saturday | August 12, 2017 | 12:00 PM
Opposition protesters help a man who, they said, was wounded when a tear gas canister hit him in the face during clashes with police in the Kibera slum of Nairobi, Kenya, yesterday.

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP):

In an escalation of Kenya's deadly election violence, police yesterday fired live ammunition at rioters and used tear gas on vehicles carrying opposition officials trying to enter a Nairobi slum where they have strong support.

A young girl was killed by a stray bullet, nine bodies with gunshot wounds were taken overnight to the capital's main morgue, and a watchdog group said police gunfire has killed 24 people since last Tuesday's disputed vote.

The chaos in the Nairobi slums of Mathare and Kibera, as well as in the opposition stronghold of Kisumu city, contrasted with widespread calm - and celebrations in some areas - in the country of 45 million, after Kenya's election commission said late last Friday that President Uhuru Kenyatta won a second term.

Protests, often violent, began soon after voting, when Kenyatta's main challenger, Raila Odinga, alleged vote rigging.

The government said life was returning to normal and that those challenging security forces were criminals intent on looting and destroying property.

However, the police came under scrutiny for what the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, which monitors government institutions, described as the "unlawful and unacceptable" use of excessive force.

The unrest followed a victory speech Friday in which Kenyatta, whose father was Kenya's first president after independence from British colonial rule, said he was extending a "hand of friendship" to the opposition.