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Kenya violence spirals, 10 burnt alive

world Updated: Jan 28, 2008 13:43 IST
DPA

Ethnic-based violence in Kenya's Rift Valley province has left up to 150 dead since clashes ignited on Thursday, reports said, in a spiral of chaos that has engulfed the East African nation after disputed elections.

The violence spread east Sunday to the flower-growing town of Naivasha where at least 10 people were burnt alive after the house they locked themselves in to escape an angry mob was set ablaze.

French broadcaster RFI put the death toll at 150 after unrest erupted in the central town of Nakuru last week. The local independent Daily Nation put the number at 82.

"I condemn this murderous and evil act in the strongest terms possible," said opposition leader Raila Odinga, who claims last month's polls were rigged.

The polls triggered the violence but have set off deep ethnic tensions and resentment against the Kikuyu tribe, the same as President Mwai Kibaki, which has traditionally held the levers of power in Kenya.

The fighting has seen other tribes battle the Kikuyu, using machetes, clubs and bows and arrows in what has descended into brutal violence that has killed more than 700 in a month.

Some 250,000 people have been displaced, with many hiding in churches and police stations and thousands camping at settlements for the internally displaced.

Former United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan is in the country in a bid to find a solution to the political impasse, and has asked each side to present three negotiators so formal talks can begin.