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Last Updated: Saturday, 5 January 2008, 16:56 GMT
Violence scars Kenyan town
By Karen Allen
BBC News, Burnt Forest

Up until Friday, Burnt Forest, a large settlement some 30km (20 miles) south of the Rift Valley town of Eldoret, in west Kenya, was completely cut off by fighting.

Whole neighbourhoods have been burnt to the ground

We travelled by helicopter and from the air could see the charred remains of villages, people's homes razed to the ground.

More than 100 people died here in clashes last week.

In the hospital I saw patients with burns, gunshot wounds and gashes from machetes and arrows.

They had been targeted because of assumptions about which way they voted in Kenya's controversial presidential contest.

Awaiting burial

Bodies have still to be collected from hospitals.

Police say they will offer security guarantees to families wishing to bury their dead.


But the psychological trauma of the events of the past week is beginning to show.

In one camp I visited - a police station turned into a refuge - a man who couldn't afford the bus fare to join his family who had fled further south was found hanging by a rope last night.

He had taken his own life.

The agency Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has been assessing needs here.

They say it is an emergency and the next 10 days will be critical.

The scene at the Burnt Forest settlement

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