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Five dead, several injured as police deny using live bullets

By Mercy Adhiambo | Published Sat, November 18th 2017 at 00:00, Updated November 18th 2017 at 00:23 GMT +3
Police: No bullets were used, only tear gas and water cannons [Photo Courtesy]

Police have denied claims that they shot dead NASA supporters during the violent confrontations.

Police said they received reports of the fatalities and looting in what they termed as operations to respond to the unauthorised processions organised by NASA.

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“Five people were stoned to death in separate incidents after they were caught stealing by enraged crowds. Two were stoned on Landhies Road, two next to Country Bus Station and one along Racecourse Road,” said National Police Spokesman George Kinoti in a statement.

However, witnesses claim the deceased were shot dead by police who were dispersing the youth to prevent them from accessing Uhuru Park where Raila was expected to address them.

But police maintained that no live bullet was used in the operation. “No live fire was used; only tear gas and water cannons were deployed for crowd control,” Mr Kinoti said.

NASA condemned what they termed as use of unprecedented and unnecessary brutality by Jubilee regime.

In a statement signed by Raila, NASA claimed that police used tear gas, water cannons, armed militia and live bullets to disperse their supporters.

“This is a reckless, insensitive and primitive response to a crisis Uhuru Kenyatta himself has created. It has been carefully planned by Jubilee to create an atmosphere of fear and chaos in which the Supreme Court has to make its ruling,” he said.

He added that the operation by security forces and militia against innocent and law abiding citizens by a regime that is deep in debt even as it continues to borrow huge amounts of money which is crippling the economy was a waste of tax-payers’ money.

A body lay in a pool of blood by the road side near Muthurwa market, as police and NASA supporters engaged in running battle for the better part of Friday.

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“A bullet hit him and he fell. Since there were many people, it was difficult for anyone to take him to hospital,” said a witness.

A few metres away, a group of men carried an injured man into a waiting vehicle, while others fell when they were overwhelmed by tear gas.

Kenyatta National Hospital confirmed they received 14 people with injuries. Through their communications manager Simon Ithae, the hospital was not able to immediately establish the levels of injuries, as they were still receiving primary care.

“So far, we have 14 people who have been brought in, and the doctors are working on them. It is too early to know how serious their injuries are,” he said.