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Page last updated at 16:37 GMT, Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Riots break out in Kenyan capital

Protesters in Nairobi. Photo: 10/03/09
The protesters demanded the resignation of Kenya's police chief

Riots have broken out in Kenya's capital Nairobi at a rally involving hundreds of students against alleged extra-judicial killings by police.

Police used tear gas to disperse university protesters who were hurling stones and looting shops.

The rally was held to protest against last week's killing of a student by police and also alleged shootings of two human rights activists.

Police deny any involvement in the killings of the two activists.

Oscar Kamau Kingara and John Paul Oulo were shot dead in their car in central Nairobi last Thursday.

They were attacked just hours after a government spokesman accused their group of aiding the Mungiki criminal gang.

'Assassinations'

Kenyan human rights groups have blamed the government for the "assassinations" of the two rights activists.

The twin killings sparked a riot in which a student was shot dead. Three policemen were later arrested in connection with the student's death.

Protesters on Tuesday carried banners and chanted slogans demanding the resignation of the police commissioner, Hussein Ali, because of what they described as excessive police force.

UN investigator Philip Alston, who has also called on Mr Hussein to quit, said after the shootings that suspicion was bound to fall on Kenya's police in the circumstances.

"It is extremely troubling when those working to defend human rights in Kenya can be assassinated in broad daylight in the middle of Nairobi," said Mr Alston, who last month released a report accusing Kenya's police of running death squads.

Last year, Mr Kingara's Oscar Foundation Free Legal Aid Clinic published a report, which said that 8,040 young Kenyans have been executed or tortured to death since 2002 in a police crackdown on the Mungiki gang.

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