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Kenyan official killed in 'secessionist violence'

By News Updates
Salim Changu was hacked to death in the coastal town of Kwale, police say.His death comes shortly after Mombasa Republican Council (MRC) Oscar Mwamnuadzi was arrested during a gunfight at his home in the town, in which two people were killed.

Tension has been rising in Kenya ahead of general elections due in March 2013. More than 100 people have been killed in ethnic clashes in the south-east Tana River area since August, in the bloodiest violence since the disputed 2007 presidential election.

Police spokesman Aggrey Adoli said Changu, the assistant chief for the Kombani area, was probably killed by MRC members who viewed him as a traitor, Kenya's Daily Nation newspaper reports. Earlier, police launched an operation against the MRC following accusations that it planned to disrupt school examinations.

Two of Mwamnuadzi's bodyguards were killed during the raid on his home in Kwale and 38 people were arrested, the Daily Nation reported.In July, Kenya's High Court lifted a ban on the MRC, which the government had outlawed in 2010 after accusing it of being a criminal gang.The MRC accuses the government of marginalising the ethnic groups living along the coast, which is the centre of the country's tourism sector.Calls for the secession of the coastal region tend to intensify in the run-up to general elections, analysts say. (BBC)

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