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NAIVASHA - At least 10 people were killed in ethnic clashes in Kenya's Rift Valley yesterday as former United Nations chief Kofi Annan met opposition leader Raila Odinga to try to resolve a month-long crisis that has claimed 750 lives.
A reporter in Naivasha counted ten bodies, six burnt and four hacked to death, as members of President Mwai Kibaki's Kikuyu tribe fought running battles with Luos and Kalenjins who back Odinga.
Two truckloads of soldiers were deployed as smoke poured from torched homes and cars. Barricades blocked Kenya's main western highway outside the town and police turned back vehicles heading towards the are.
The violence threatens to undermine mediation by Annan, who called on both feuding parties yesterday to name four officials for further talks after he held discussions with Odinga.
Annan visited parts of the Rift Valley on Saturday that have been hit by clashes and warned that turmoil triggered by Kibaki's disputed re-election had evolved into something worse with "gross and systematic" rights abuses.
"Let us not kid ourselves and think that this is an electoral problem. It's much broader and much deeper," he said. - Reuters