Kenyan opposition changes tactics

Opposition to boycott firms allied to President Kibaki and hold strikes.

    Protests over the last three days have left
    at least 33 people dead [AFP]

    The post-poll violence so far has killed an estimated 600 people.
     
    Four people were shot dead in Kibera, Nairobi's largest slum, on Friday and another was killed shortly after Friday prayers in Mombasa, Kenya's port city, police said.
     
    Eight people were killed overnight.
     
    "The demonstrators [in Kibera] were charging at the officers with stones and that is when police fired at them. Four of them have been killed," a police commander was quoted by the AFP news agency as saying.
     
    Kenya has seen a wave of violence since Kibaki was elected in disputed presidential polls last month.
     
    Friday was the last of three days of planned protests. Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) said it was ending the protests because civilians were paying too heavy a price.
     
    "We have seen a lot of suffering caused by reckless police action against peaceful protestors," Salim Lone, the ODM spokesman, said.
     
    'Protecting lives and property'

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    Eric Kiraithe, a police spokesman, said on Friday that security forces would not allow opposition supporters on the streets for further demonstrations.

    He said: "Police will be steadfast in protecting lives and property."

    In the past two days, police have fired live ammunition and tear gas and beat protesters with sticks.
     
    Nine western governments, including Australia, the UK and Canada, issued a statement on Friday urging Kenyan government forces to stop killing  unarmed civilians.
     
    "We urge security forces to exercise their duties strictly within the boundaries of law and desist from any extraordinary or  disproportionate use of force and, in particular, the killing of unarmed protestors," the statement said.

    Prior to the nationwide protests that began Wednesday, more than 700 people died in tribal killings and clashes with police and around 260,000 people have been displaced.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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