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3 hacked to death as political crisis persists

Three people have been hacked to death in ethnic clashes in Nairobi slums as Kenyan political crisis persists.

world Updated: Jan 22, 2008 18:27 IST

Three people were hacked to death in ethnic clashes in Nairobi slums, police said on Monday, as mediators prepared a fresh bid to break the deadlock that followed President Mwai Kibaki's re-election.

The three died in the capital's Huruma and Babadogo slums where feuding tribes clashed late into the night, bringing to 48 the number of deaths over the past six days.

Police said the fighting and revenge killings raged between members of pro-Kibaki tribes and those supporting opposition chief Raila Odinga, who claims he was robbed of victory in the December 27 presidential polls.

Several houses were razed as hundreds stampeded out of shantytowns that have been divided into tribal blocs.

Three days of opposition protests that began on Wednesday provoked a fierce crackdown by anti-riot and paramilitary police, and some unarmed civilians were shot down in the capital and the western city of Kisumu.

The political rioting morphed into tribal killings and looting, mainly in the capital's crowded slums and areas in the country's western region where the political crisis has exacerbated long-running tribal feuds.

"Police are doing everything to ensure that stability is maintained and we are urging members of the public to operate within the (boundaries of the) law," national police spokesman Eric Kiraithe told AFP.

Riot police continued to patrol major towns as well as the volatile rural areas across the country.

Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party over the weekend called for a fresh round of demonstrations on Thursday, but police have vowed to block them.