Kenya banned sect members killed

BBC News/April 29, 2008

Kenyan police have shot dead two members of the outlawed Mungiki sect in a chase in a slum of the capital.

Police spokesman Eric Kiraithe confirmed that the two had been evading arrest and were killed after they ignored orders to surrender.

The incident comes a day after Charles Ndungu, chairman of the sect's political wing, was shot dead.

No date has been given for talks due to be held between the new government and Mungiki leaders to stop the violence.

There have been fears that the planned meeting would be aborted following Mr Ndungu's killing, but sect members have not commented on the incident.

Police have denied involvement in the killing and have launched an investigation.

They suspect he may have been killed by a rival group within the Mungiki sect.

The Mungiki, mainly drawn from President Mwai Kibaki's Kikuyu ethnic group, run transport rackets in the capital, Nairobi, and are likened to Kenya's version of the mafia.

Deadly riots

Correspondents say the sect has a large presence in Dandora slum to the east of the capital, the scene of Tuesday's shooting.

"The two were wanted for a robbery and a string of murders and beheading within and outside Nairobi and our officers caught up with them in Dandora," Mr Kiraithe told the BBC News website.

Two weeks ago the wife of the Mungiki's jailed leader was found beheaded, sparking deadly riots in the capital and surrounding areas.

It was only after Kenya's new Prime Minister Raila Odinga agreed to meet the group and address their concerns, that threats of further disruption were withdrawn.

Last year, more than 100 suspected sect members were killed in a police crackdown after a series of grisly beheadings blamed on the sect.

Sect members accuse the police of extra-judicial killings and want a special unit set up to counter their activities to be disbanded.

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