Fire at Church Kills 50 as Riots in Kenya Rage

Disputed election uncorks seething ethnic tensions
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 1, 2008 12:08 PM CST
A man admitted with serious burns lies covered in ointment at the Coast General Hospital, in Mombasa, Kenya, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2008. Youths protesting against the outcome of the Dec. 27, 2007 presidential...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A mob set fire to a church filled with people in Kenya today, killing at least 50, according to the Red Cross, most of them members of Mwai Kibaki’s Kikuyu tribe. Chaos has reigned in the country since Kibaki’s disputed election victory, which EU inspectors say lacks credibility. At least 270 have been killed in increasingly ethnic violence, the AP reports.

Kenya has long been one of Africa’s most stable democracies, but ethnic tensions have simmered against the Kikuyu, the nation’s largest and most powerful group. Kibaki has called on his rivals to meet and try to restore calm, but opposition candidate Rail Odinga has refused. “If he announces that he was not elected, then I will talk to him,” he said.