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Tana 'Mass graves' mystery

By BBC | September 20th 2012 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

Kenya's police have called off the exhumation of two alleged mass graves in the Tana River Delta, saying they only found a human foot there.

They suspect four bodies had earlier been removed.

Earlier this week, regional police chief Aggrey Adoli told journalists that an unknown number of bodies were at the two sites.

More than 100 people have been killed in clashes in the area in the past month.

The long-running conflict is between the Pokomo people - mostly farmers growing cash crops by the Tana River - and the Orma, semi-nomadic cattle herders.

There are accusations that politicians have incited the violence ahead of elections next March.

Mr Adoli has acknowledged that there were no mass graves but has not yet explained where the earlier information came from.

A court order was obtained and a team of pathologists and gravediggers were sent to the remote region.

The head of the operation, Antony Kamitu, told the BBC that they believe four bodies were removed before the police found the graves and sealed off the area.

"We believed the bodies were removed to hide the identities. Our plan was to take fingerprints of the bodies and that would have led us to their origins," he said.

"So the operation is now called off."

-BBC


kenya Tana river delta Tana river mass grave
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