Five die as Kenya police battle opposition in Nairobi

Friday November 17 2017

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Five people were killed in chaos that rocked Kenya's capital Nairobi as opposition supporters who had gathered to welcome their leader Raila Odinga from the United States engaged anti-riot police in running battles for the better part of Friday.

According to police spokesperson George Kinoti, the five were stoned to death by angry mobs in different incidences during the procession from the main airport to the city centre after they were allegedly caught stealing.

“Sadly, these incidences occurred before the police arrived at the various scenes. All these incidences are under investigation,” said Mr Kinoti.

A heavy police deployment blocked roads leading into Nairobi's main business district where the National Super Alliance (Nasa) was to hold a rally. The police broke up crowds surrounding the convoy, unleashing teargas and water cannon and firing shots in the air.

Mr Kinoti said the police operation was in response to “unauthorised processions organised by Nasa coalition”.

No live bullets

He added that no live bullets were used during the confrontation between Nasa supporters and the police.

At the same time, Mr Kinoti refuted claims that a police officer had shot at a vehicle in the Nasa leaders' convoy.

Reacting to the Friday incidents, Mr Odinga said he expected a different welcome – a red carpet by President Uhuru Kenyatta at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

"I am disappointed with Uhuru Kenyatta.

“I expected him to come and welcome me at the airport. But he has sent these boys to teargas me for no reason at all.

“These are some of the things we are fighting against," Mr Odinga said.