Kenyan teen shot during coronavirus curfew

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A street in Kenya gets sterilised. (Getty Images)
A street in Kenya gets sterilised. (Getty Images)

Kenyan police on Tuesday ordered a probe into the shooting of a 13-year-old boy on his balcony in Nairobi as officers allegedly opened fire to enforce a nighttime curfew.

Residents of the slum where the shooting took place told AFP that a confrontation broke out shortly before 19:00 on Monday as police started forcing people into their homes for the start of the curfew, imposed to curb the spread of Covid-19.

"They (police) were violent, they started beating people and then we heard gunshots," said Mercy Ngaira, a resident in the Mathare settlement.

Shot

The boy was hit in the stomach and rushed to hospital where he died from his wounds, according to neighbours and police sources.

A police statement said that Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai had ordered a probe "into the death of a thirteen-year-old boy who was hit by a stray bullet."

The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) issued a statement condemning the incident, and said it had launched an investigation.

"IPOA has launched investigations into the incident in which police enforcing the curfew allegedly shot a minor... The minor later succumbed to his injuries," said the statement.

Kenya's police force is often accused by rights groups of using excessive force and carrying out unlawful killings, especially in poor neighbourhoods.

Curfew

Since the start of a nationwide dusk-to-dawn curfew on Friday police have also used tear gas and baton charges to disperse crowds.

In the port city of Mombasa on Friday, hundreds waiting for a ferry were engulfed in tear gas as police charged commuters even before the curfew began, causing panic and a stampede.

Officers, some armed and wearing riot gear, forced people to the ground and thrashed them with whips in scenes the Mombasa Law Society decried as "excessive" and "detestable".

In Kisumu, western Kenya, police have used tear gas to force businesses in slum districts to close, and clashed with shop owners.

Kenya has recorded 50 cases of coronavirus, and one death.

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