Kenyan police break up young men who attacked women at an election meeting

Police in Kisumu, western Kenya, fired tear gas and bullets into the air on Wednesday to disperse youths who stormed a hotel and beat women who were attending an election meeting, police said.

Kenya held presidential, legislative and local elections on August 8, but three weeks later the Supreme Court overturned the results of the presidential election, citing irregularities in the counting process.

Although the ruling signals a period of uncertainty, many hope to restore some confidence in the notorious Kenyan institutions and reduce the likelihood of long-term political violence.

A Christian women’s organization holding a meeting today was linked to the re-election when the men broke into the hotel where they were communities, said Joseph Kitani of the Kisumu District Police Department. The region is a stronghold of opposition leader Raila Odinga.

“We deployed the police force, fired tear gas and bullets into the air and chased a group of young men,” he said. “Young men are beating women and stealing their laptops and their money.”

A Reuters witness said the men smashed the windows and smashed the seats and another witness said the youths attacked the participants with the broken seats.