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Wednesday, 18 October, 2000, 17:20 GMT
Kenya admits mistakes over 'massacre'

The Kenyan government has for the first time admitted making mistakes sixteen years ago when hundreds of ethnic Somalis were killed in the north-east of the country.

A Kenyan minister in the office of the President, William Ruto, told parliament that three-hundred-and-eighty people had died in what's been called the Wagalla massacre, which took place during a drive by the security forces against shifta bandits. Previously, the government had said that only fifty-seven people had died.

The parliamentarian who raised the issue, Ellias Barre Shill, said the minister was trying to avoid crucial questions -- he charged that more than one-thousand ethnic Somalis were victims of the killings of 1984, and he said the Kenyan government should apologise and pay compensation.

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