May 21, 2013
At least 15 killed on Kenya coast on election day
At least 15 people were killed in attacks by machete-wielding gangs today as Kenyans voted in large numbers in the first presidential election since a disputed 2007 poll unleashed weeks of tribal bloodshed.
Initial provisional results began trickling in moments after polls closed, showing Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta slightly ahead of Prime Minister Raila Odinga, with ballots in from 10 percent of the polling stations, but it was still too early to predict the outcome.
Voting in the tight contest passed off largely peacefully across most of the East African nation, although many of its 14.3 million voters were caught in long lines.
The electoral authority said early indications showed turnout above 70 percent.
Officials and candidates have made appeals to avoid a repeat of the tribal rampages that erupted five years ago when disputes over the result fuelled clashes between tribal loyalists of rival candidates.
More than 1,200 people were killed, shattering Kenya's reputation as one of Africa's most stable democracies and bringing its economy, sub Saharan Africa's fourth-largest, to a standstill.
Just hours before voting began, at least nine security officers in the restive coastal region were hacked to death in two attacks, and six attackers were killed, regional police chief Aggrey Adoli said.
Senior police officers blamed the attacks on a separatist movement, suggesting different motives to those that caused the post-2007 vote ethnic killings that could limit their impact.