Sunday, June 13, 2010
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Two blasts at a Kenyan prayer meeting including church leaders and politicians campaigning against a proposed new constitution killed three people and injured at least 75, the prime minister said on Sunday.
"This is a very unfortunate incident. There are so many people who have been injured ... three lives have been lost. Seventy five have been wounded," Prime Minister Raila Odinga told reporters at the main Kenyatta National Hospital.
He said police were investigating the cause of the blasts.
"We don't know as yet the cause of this incident. We therefore do not want to get involved in speculation," he said.
Kenyans are due to vote on the new constitution in a referendum on August 4.
"We have so many people injured and we have reports that one person may have lost his life...," Agriculture Minister William Ruto, who was at the rally, told the Kenya Television Network.
Kenyans have been calling for a new constitution since the 1990s to replace one dating back to 1963. Guarantees of a new charter was key to a power-sharing deal in 2008, ending weeks of violence that killed around 1,300 people after a disputed poll.
East Africa's leading economy is recovering from the effects of post-election violence.
nalysts have said a widespread culture of impunity in Kenya can only be uprooted through changes to the constitution and reforms to the police, judiciary and election authority.
But some politicians are backing a 'no' vote in the referendum, angry at the failure to devolve power to the regions and also at plans to cap private land holdings.
Christian church leaders are also spearheading a 'no' campaign after an amendment to abolish abortion on medical grounds failed, while Islamic courts dealing with divorce and inheritance were left enshrined in the constitution.
Sunday's blasts come barely three days after U.S. Vice President Joe Biden concluded a visit to Kenya.