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Kenya opposition vows ‘will not relent’ as eleven die in poll protests

Updated August 13, 2017

NAIROBI: Kenya’s defeated opposition coalition vowed on Saturday they would not halt their bid to overturn a “sham” election result, which sparked violent protests that have left 11 people dead.

Protests flared in opposition bastions as soon as President Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the victor on Friday night after an election his rival Raila Odinga claimed was massively rigged.

Kenya is no stranger to post-election violence, and scars still run deep from a disputed 2007 vote which led to two months of ethno-political clashes, leaving 1,100 dead and 600,000 displaced.However protests remained isolated on Saturday, with several hundred demonstrators engaging in running battles with police who quickly dispersed what Interior Minister Fred Matiangi referred to as “criminal elements”.

Eight bodies have been taken 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 said.

On Saturday morning, a photographer saw the body of a young girl whose family said she had been shot in the back while watching the protests from their balcony in Mathare.

A police officer said a man had been shot dead in a demonstration in the southwestern town of Siaya and local government official Wilson Njega confirmed one person had been shot dead outside Kisumu in protests.

At the hospital Truphena Achieng said his brother had been shot and injured “and yet he was just standing outside our house where people were demonstrating ... we don’t know why police were shooting.” The Doctors without Borders (MSF) charity said on Twitter that it had treated 54 wounded in its clinics.

Published in Dawn, August 13th, 2017