NAIROBI, Kenya - Several people were beaten and hacked to death with machetes in a Nairobi slum yesterday in renewed ethnic fighting over Kenya's disputed election, residents said.
In the Rift Valley, 190 miles northwest of Nairobi, the capital, police quelled two days of fierce fighting around a Catholic monastery that left 22 people dead and 200 homes burned, officials said.
The narrow reelection of President Mwai Kibaki, over opposition leader Raila Odinga, has tapped into a well of resentments that resurface regularly at election time in Kenya. But never before has it been so prolonged or taken so many lives.
Yesterday's bloodshed in Nairobi's Mathare slum, like much of the fighting since the vote, was between the Kikuyu and Luo ethnic groups, said resident Boniface Shikami. Kibaki is a Kikuyu; Odinga is a Luo.
Shikami said Luos on his street had received notices warning them to leave by nightfall or risk attack.
One man staggered past with blood streaming from a stump after his arm was cut off with a machete. The arm was taken by a group of youths and placed on top of a pile of stones barricading an alleyway.
The maimed man, Peter Kyalo, arrived later at Kenyatta Hospital. He said he had been warned on Saturday night by Luo friends that he might be targeted because he is a Kamba, a member of the same tribe as the vice president, a former presidential candidate who joined Kibaki's government this month.
In a separate incident, about 50 people attacked welder Dominic Owour, 23, a Luo, and tried to cut off his hands at the forearm, Owour said. He and Kyalo said police watching the attacks did not intervene.
A physician, Njoroge Waithaka, said 13 people had been admitted to Kenyatta Hospital from the area around Mathare, mostly with ax and machete cuts on the upper limbs and head.
Filipe Rebeiro of the aid group Doctors Without Borders said his organization treated 10 people for machete and ax wounds yesterday morning.
In the Rift Valley, around the Catholic Kipkelion Monastery, fighting since Friday has pitted Kalenjin people native to the area against Kisii and Kikuyus who settled there in the 1960s and 1970s.
Police appeared to have quelled the violence by yesterday afternoon and were recovering bodies.
Land always has been a tool of Kenyan politicians, who distribute it as favors to their own and allied tribes, and use it as a weapon, settling their supporters in hostile areas in order to win votes at election time.