Election Violence - Death Toll In Kenya Coast Attacks Reaches 17

The death toll in Kenya's restive coastal region rose to at least 17 on Monday in two attacks on police by machete-wielding men hours before voting began in a tense presidential election, police officers said.
The authorities suspect at least one of the attacks was carried out by members of a coastal separatist group who had threatened to disrupt voting if their demand for secession of the Indian Ocean coastal strip was not met.

Senior police officers said the death toll was comprised of nine security officers, two civilians and six attackers.

There were two separate attacks and senior police officers blamed one of them on a separatist movement - which, if confirmed, would suggest different motives to those that caused the post-2007 vote ethnic killings and could limit their impact.

Officials and candidates have made impassioned appeals to avoid a repeat of the tribal rampages that erupted five years ago when disputes over the poll result fuelled clashes between tribal loyalists of rival candidates.

More than 1,200 people were killed, shattering Kenya's reputation as one of Africa's most stable democracies and bringing its economy to a standstill.

As in 2007, the race has come down to a high-stakes head-to-head between two candidates, this time between Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta. Both will depend heavily on votes from tribal loyalists.
Politics 3734712758577260825

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