An opposition supporter reacts under the heavy rain in front of a burning barricade in Mathare district, in Nairobi on October 26, 2017, as a group of demonstrators blocked the road and tried to prevent voters from accessing a polling station during presidential elections. / AFP PHOTO / LUIS TATO
At least three people were shot dead Thursday as opposition protests sparked violence during Kenya’s presidential re-run, according to police and hospital sources.
One man was killed in Nairobi’s Mathare slum, one of the hotspots where protesters tried to block the vote which has been boycotted by opposition leader Raila Odinga, prompting clashes with police.
“I have just confirmed he was shot in the forehead,” said Drugnet hospital director Dickens Osimba. An AFP photographer also saw the body.
A police statement from assistant inspector general George Kinoti said another person had been shot dead in western Homa Bay “where a large mob attacked a small police facility… and the few police officers were constrained to use live fire to protect themselves and the armoury”.
Earlier police and hospital sources confirmed a 19-year-old was killed in Kisumu, whose body was also seen by AFP.
The latest casualties take the death toll since a disputed August 8 election to at least 43. Rights groups say most people were killed at the hands of police.
“With tensions running high there is a very real threat of further bloodshed as the election re-run takes place,” said Justus Nyangaya, director at Amnesty International Kenya.
“We are calling on the police to only use force as a last resort — unlawful police killings and other human rights violations must not be allowed to recur.”
The election is being held after Kenya’s Supreme Court overturned the August vote citing “irregularities” and mismanagement by poll officials.