Kenyans burnt alive in church as unrest toll tops 300

Chief Regulatory Officer at CSE Renuke Wijayawardhane presenting the listing certificate to Executive Chairperson at Renuka Hotels Shibani Thambiayah

NAIROBI, Jan 1, 2008 (AFP) – At least 35 children and adults sheltering in a church were burnt alive by an angry mob in Kenya Tuesday, as an eruption of election violence threatened to tip over into a full-scale tribal conflict. The darling of foreign investors in east Africa, with an average annual growth over five percent over the past five years, Kenya will be lucky to emerge unscathed in an increasingly competitive regional scene. The horrific deaths near the western town of Eldoret bring to more than 300 the number of people killed since December 27 presidential elections, which were narrowly won by the incumbent Mwai Kibaki amid allegations of vote-rigging by his defeated opposition challenger, Raila Odinga.

The violence is the worst Kenya has witnessed since a failed 1982 coup.

With Kibaki belonging to Kenya’s largest tribe, the Kikuyu, and Odinga to the second largest, the Luo, the violence has taken on a distinctly ethnic hue, with tit-for-tat killings and targeted arson attacks.

The victims of Tuesday’s blaze were among some 400 people who had taken refuge in the church in order to escape escalating tribal clashes, survivors and police said.

They said an angry mob doused the Kenya Assemblies of God C