'Sickening Brutality' Spreads in Kenya

Annan meets with opposition leader
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2008 10:06 PM CST

(Newser) – Ethnic violence and revenge killing continued unchecked in western Kenya today, with at least 17 more people beaten, hacked, or burned to death by mobs engaged in what the BBC correspondent calls  "sickening brutality" since last month’s contested presidential election. The death toll is nearing 750, the BBC reports, as former UN chief Kofi Annan spent a sixth day in the conflict-ravaged country trying to negotiate a peace deal.

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Annan met with opposition leader Raila Odinga and asked the two sides to appoint reps for official talks. Odinga insists that President Mwai Kibaki must step down before settlement talks can be held.  One tribesman vowed to the AP that the bloodshed would continue: “For every one Kikuyu killed, we shall avenge their killing with three.” (Read more Kenya stories.)

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