Stampede at rally in Kenya kills at least five; dozens wounded

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Monday, June 14, 2010

A stampede in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi has killed at least five people and left at least 79 more wounded, reports say.

The incident occurred at a church rally, led by Christian leaders voicing their opposition to a new constitution to be voted on in a referendum later this summer, primarily because it is to include a clause for abortion.

A petrol bomb apparently was thrown into the crowd as the rally was drawing to a close at dusk, prompting panic as people tried to flee. Some witness reports suggest there were two individual blasts. According to police, the explosions were not large and didn't leave any damage.

Kenyan prime minister Raila Odinga was present at the scene of the disaster. He commented on the incident, saying: "It is a very, very regrettable incident, and this incident is condemned in the strongest terms possible. We don't know as yet the cause of this incident."

It was not immediately clear who was responsible for detonating the bomb. Spokesman for Kenyan police Eric Kiraithe said that "[i]t is very, very much too early to say who is responsible. Our investigations have begun, and in due course the culprits will be found."