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Jan 19, 2008 at 10:13am IST

Violence continues in Kenya, 20 killed

Nairobi: The violence in Kenya shows no signs of abating. More that 20 people have been killed in violent clashes between pro and anti-government groups.

Massive protests rocked the opposition strongholds in Nairobi, Mombasa Port and Narok on Friday. Protesters even pulled out railway tracks at Nairobi's Kibera Slum, crippling a major East African transport line.

Clashes broke out between pro and anti-government groups at Narok. The protesters at Kisumu set fire to a fuel tanker to block the highway. The police fired tear gas shells and bullets to beat back the anti-government protests.

Police had to open fire on protesters in Nairobi's Kibera slum, killing six people and wounding at least 10.

Kenya has been rocked by violent clashes since late December after President Mwai Kibaki defeated opposition leader Raila Odinga in an elections that local and foreign observers say was not fair.

Even though Kibaki has been insisting that he won the election in a fair contest, doubts have been expressed over the way the votes were counted.

More than 600 people have been killed in Kenya's election violence, according to a government commission, the worst turmoil since a failed 1982 coup attempt in which Odinga participated.

Kenyan police released their own figures on Friday, saying 510 people had died in the election violence, including 82 killed by police. Police, who had earlier denied charges they had killed anyone since Kenya descended into turmoil, have recently been more forthright, and critical of protesters.

The US-based rights group Human Rights Watch said in a statement that police were behind dozens of killings and that they opened fire on both looters and opposition protesters under an unofficial "shoot-to-kill" policy.

(With inputs from Associated Press)

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