Families sue government over police role in bloodshed

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THE families of seven people shot dead five years ago in violence that erupted after the 2007 election are suing the Kenyan government over alleged police brutality.

Eight people wounded in street clashes added their names to the lawsuit filed this week. Four human rights groups are also part of the legal action.

Official records show police shot dead 405 of the more than 1,100 people killed following the disputed 2007 presidential election. Many were shot in the back, claimed court documents.

It is also claimed that unlawful orders were given to police and the government failed to train officers in legal ways to deal with civil unrest. The government did not investigate the abuses, it is further claimed. T

hose suing are from western Kenya. In 2007, most voters there supported challenger Raila Odinga – who was ahead in the polls. Violence erupted when the electoral authority declared incumbent, Mwai Kibaki re-elected as president.