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Kenyans burned to death in church

ICC Note

“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,”

January 1, 2008 Kenya (BBC News)-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.

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Fresh killings

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

A pastor from the church, Jackson Nyanga told the BBC that the people who had been taking shelter 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.

Another eyewitness, who gave his name as Joseph, told the BBC that the fire was still smouldering, and that most people had fled the scene.

“I am seeing strewn clothes and belongings around and charred remains,” he said.

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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.

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Doubts expressed

EU observers said the country’s election was flawed.

“They were marred by a lack of transparency in the processing and tallying of presidential results, which raises concerns about the accuracy of the final results,” the EU team said in a statement.

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