Clashes have once again erupted between Kenyan police and protesters after at least four dead bodies, allegedly belonging to opposition supporters, were found in a slum on the outskirts of the capital Nairobi.
Police sources and Kenyan media said on Sunday that the bodies of three men and a woman had been discovered in the city’s Mathare slum, one of several flashpoint areas that were the scene of violence during last month’s disputed presidential election rerun, which was largely boycotted by the opposition.
It was not immediately clear how they had died. The discovery sparked tensions since three other people had been shot dead by Kenyan police two days earlier when thousands of opposition supporters flooded the streets in a nearby suburb in support of their leader Raila Odinga.
“We have launched an investigation into the murders of the four people killed in Mathare Area 1. We are yet to establish how they were killed,” a senior police official told AFP.
The official said that angry residents had set fire to two buses and another vehicle. Police cordoned off the area for security reasons, and used teargas to disperse the crowd.
The dispute over this year’s presidential vote has left the nation deeply divided and protests between opposition supporters and police have become commonplace.
Odinga has in the past months called on his supporters to stage protests to demand electoral reforms and the dismissal of certain officials from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission over claims of unfairness and irregularity at the August 8 presidential polls.
On November 20, Kenya’s Supreme Court is due to rule whether incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta can be sworn in for a second term or if there must be another rerun.
Human rights groups estimate that some 50 people have lost their lives in the most recent spate of election-related violence, the vast majority of them fatally shot by police.