Africa

Five killed in Kenyan rally crush

  • 13 June 2010
  • From the section Africa

At least five people have died and dozens been injured in a stampede at a rally in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

The stampede followed two explosions, the cause of which is unknown.

The rally was organised by Christian groups opposed to a draft constitution because it retains recognition of existing Islamic courts and includes a clause on abortion.

Kenyans are due to vote on the new constitution in a referendum in August.

The Kenyan police say the explosions were small and left no debris. Police are investigating the possibility that a home-made device was detonated.

As part of a power-sharing deal to end deadly riots following elections in December 2007, it was agreed that a new constitution would be written.

The document provides for greater checks on presidential powers and more regional devolution.

Image caption At least 20 people were injured in the Nairobi blast

However, Christian church leaders are campaigning for a "No" vote after an amendment to abolish abortion on medical grounds failed.

They also oppose the continued recognition of Islamic family courts.

The Islamic Kadhi courts - set up under British colonial rule - mainly deal with matters of marriage and inheritance for Kenya's Muslim minority.

Supporters of the new constitution deny that it opens the door to legalised abortions.

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