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 Tuesday, 7 January, 2003, 12:10 GMT
Arrests after Kenya minibus clashes
A Mungiki gathering
The Mungikis claim to have 4 million members
Several people have been arrested after 22 people were killed in clashes in Kenya between members of the banned Mungiki sect and public service minibus touts over the control of routes.

Kenyan Matatu
There is fierce competition for lucrative minibus (matatu) routes
The violence broke out after the sect followers invaded several houses in Nakuru town, about 200 kilometres of the capital, Nairobi.

The BBC's Muchiri Kioi in Nakuru says the attackers started slashing people indiscriminately, killing 15 people and injuring 20 others, some of whom are in a critical condition.

A number of people have been arrested in connection with the clashes.

This is not the first time the sect has been engaged in battles with touts, who accuse the sect of running protection rackets and demanding money from minibus operators.

Tense situation

Three of those in police custody after the weekend clashes are prominent members of the community in Nakuru.

Former Kanu member of parliament David Manyara and two other businessmen have been arrested for allegedly funding the sect in Nakuru.

Our correspondent says the latest outbreak of violence follows last week's clashes in which six people are believed to have been killed by the sect.

Mungiki members
Mungikis say they fight for traditional African values

He says in response the police are said to have killed seven members of the sect, and the latest attack may have been revenge motivated.

A provincial administrator in Nakuru said that seven sect followers were gunned down during the clashes, and another 40 were arrested to be later charged with murder.

Our correspondent says the situation in the town remains tense, with the police in full combat gear patrolling the streets.

He says the administrator has issued a shoot-to-kill order for any member of the sect disobeying the police.

All provincial chiefs of police have been ordered to launch a countrywide hunt for members of the sect.

The Mungiki sect - which aims to follow the traditional beliefs of the Kikuyu tribe - was outlawed because it advocates the practice of female circumcision.

See also:

04 Mar 02 | Africa
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31 Oct 02 | Africa
22 Oct 01 | Africa
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