9 January 2013

Kenya: Arson Kills One in Mathare, 20 Houses Burnt

An elderly man died in his home in a suspected arson attack that destroyed 20 houses in Nairobi's Mathare slum Tuesday night (January 8th), Kenya's The Standard reported.

The incident followed a security operation that day in which 12 suspects believed to be members of a criminal gang were arrested. In retaliation, members of the gang quickly mobilised and set fire to the residences, police said.

"It was a form of retaliation and we are yet to make arrests, but officers are on the ground looking for the attackers," said head of police operations in Nairobi Wilfred Mbithi.

Dozens of police officers have been deployed to Mathare after gang violence led to the destruction of 50 houses there last month in another act of retaliation. In addition, a separate arson attack last month also killed one person and left 70 homeless.

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