Mungiki marked for death

Gitau Njuguna, Paul Muite

Gitau Njuguna, Paul Muite

At least 24 people have been stoned or hacked to death in central Kenya during overnight fighting between vigilante groups and an outlawed criminal sect.The clashes in Karatina began when the vigilante groups armed with machetes, axes and clubs set upon members of the feared Mungiki gang, which extorts money from homeowners, taxi operators and businesspeople in many Kenyan towns. Gang members later regrouped and fought back but most of the dead were alleged Mungiki members.

“So far, investigators have confirmed that 24 people have been killed and three people have been injured,” police said.Thirty-seven people were arrestesd during the violence, which follows more than a week of vigilante action in the area, about 100 miles north of the capital, Nairobi. More than a dozen Mungiki members were reported to have been lynched by the public before last night’s fighting.The clashes are indicative of a growing sense of lawlessness in Kenya, with police seemingly unable to protect the public and deal effectively with criminal threats.

“Live by the sword, die by the sword” 

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