Tuesday, January 1, 2008

What did the Children do?


Kenyans burned to death in church

Thirty Kenyans including many children have been burned to death in a church, after seeking refuge from the mounting violence over last week's elections.

A mob attacked and set fire to the church in the western town of Eldoret where hundreds of people were hiding, say police and eyewitness reports. Eldoret has witnessed some of the worst violence since Sunday's poll

Dozens more are reported to have been taken to hospital with severe burns.


Fresh killings

About 400 people were said to be taking refuge in the Kenya Assemblies of God church when the attack took place at about 1000 (0700 GMT).

A pastor from the church, Jackson Nyanga told the BBC that many of the people were beaten before the building was set on fire.


"After torching the church, children died - around 25 in number - four elderly people. And our men and our people who tried to confront them were injured," he said.

Most of the victims were members of the same Kikuyu ethnic group as the newly re-elected President Mwai Kibaki.


Eldoret, in the Rift Valley, has witnessed some of the worst violence since Sunday's controversial poll and has a history of inter-ethnic tension.

Correspondents say that over the past few days hundreds of Kikuyus in the Eldoret area have been taking shelter in churches and around the town's police station.

Eldoret resident Bernard Magamu told the BBC News website that many houses and businesses have been torched, and that roads in and around the town have been closed.


"People are still fearful. It's hard. People are really scared," said Mr Magamu, adding that local hospitals were struggling to cope with the high number of casualties.

The Kenyan Red Cross said that at least 70,000 people have been displaced in the Rift Valley area as a result of the unrest, describing it as "a national disaster".


What did the children do? Simple, they belonged to the wrong ethnic group.


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