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Students riot in Kenya over slayings

Associated Press / March 6, 2009
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NAIROBI - Kenyan university students clashed with riot police last night over the slayings of a former student leader and an activist who documented alleged extrajudicial killings.

It was unclear who shot former student Paul Oulu and lawyer Oscar Kingara as they were stuck in traffic outside the university last night. The deaths occurred a week after a UN official accused Kenya's police of running death squads and the day that a government spokesman accused Kingara of being linked to a notorious gang.

Mobs of angry students pushed the victims' blood-spattered car into a university compound and defended it with bottles and stones, refusing to release the bodies to police because they accused them of complicity in the killings.

Government and police spokesmen did not return messages seeking comment.

The UN specialist on extrajudicial killings, Phillip Alston, last week accused the government of running death squads during a crackdown on the notorious Mungiki gang. He said the police commissioner and attorney general should resign immediately. The government said it would look into the accusations.

Students repeated Alston's demands for the resignations of top officials last night, saying they had lost confidence in the country's judicial system.

The deaths will further strain a coalition government already racked by corruption scandals and accusations of impunity. More than 1,000 Kenyans were killed a year ago in weeks of riots after disputed election results.

Many were shot by police, and rights groups have accused politicians of orchestrating the violence. Although both sides have agreed to share power, they have yet to address the key causes of the violence or establish a tribunal.

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