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 armory”.
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.
Kenya’s election commission said polling stations had opened in much of the country on Thursday but voting had been hampered by “security challenges” in a number of places where elections would be delayed until Oct. 28.
Wafula Chebukati, head of the election commission, said the areas where voting would be delayed included Homa Hay, Kisumu, Migori and Siaya – all in the opposition stronghold of western Kenya.