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Mon, Jan 07, 2008

Missionary Group Suspends Air Operations In Kenya

Political Upheaval Triggers Riots

Politically-triggered violence which has rocked Kenya for a week, and claimed more than 300 lives, caused Mission Aviation Fellowship Thursday to suspend all its flights in the country.

The ministry told the Christian Post it had received non-stop requests for help from people desperate to flee deadly clashes between police and anti-government protesters. The violence exploded after a disputed December 27 presidential election in which opposition leader Raila Odinga accused President Mwai Kibaki of rigging the votes to ensure his re-election.

"The stories we heard were very, very sad," MAFs country director in Kenya, Bernard Terlouw, told The Christian Post. "This morning I saw trucks with riot police on Ngong road. Right now as I write one can see smoke rising from Kibera and from the Ngong road area we hear the sounds of shots. We can only pray that someone or something intervenes."

The Kenyan Red Cross reports at least 70,000 people have been displaced by the violence in western Kenya, including Christian missionaries who were no longer safe in their homes.

The ministry said it expected to resume flights Monday.

FMI: www.maf.org, www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ke.html/

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