The Latest: Kenya president says violent protests illegal

Uhuru Kenyatta
A Kenyan shopkeeper opens his store tagged with graffiti calling for peace in Nairobi's Kibera area Sunday Aug. 13, 2017. The neighbourhood erupted into violence a day earlier as supporters of opposition leader Raila Odinga demonstrated after President Uhuru Kenyatta was declared victorious in Kenya's presidential election. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The Latest on Kenya following its elections (all times local):

4:25 p.m.

The office of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta says recent protests over the country’s disputed election have been violent and unlawful.

Presidential spokesman Manoah Esipisu said Sunday that any peaceful protests are a constitutional right and would be protected by police.

“But sadly, we have seen violent protests, in which property has been damaged, and lives have been endangered,” Esipisu said. “The violent protests are unlawful, so let me be perfectly clear here: The police will not tolerate breaches of the peace; instead, they will protect the lives and property of Kenyans; and they will restore law and order.”

Opposition leader Raila Odinga said Tuesday’s election was rigged. The election commission denies the allegation and has declared that President Uhuru Kenyatta won a second term. Kenyan police deny a human rights report that they killed 24 people in election violence.

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4:00 p.m.

The Kenyan police force is denying a report by a Kenyan human rights group that its officers have killed 24 people in election violence since Tuesday’s vote.

The National Police Service said on Facebook Sunday that police have killed six “criminals” who were looting and rioting and attacked police officers in the past two days.

Police say they are aware of the shooting death of a 9-year-old girl in a Nairobi slum and are investigating. The force says it is being targeted by false allegations designed to escalate tensions.

Violence broke out in some areas in Kenya after opposition leader Raila Odinga said the election was rigged. The election commission denies the allegation and has declared that President Uhuru Kenyatta won a second term.

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3:15 p.m.

Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga has condemned police killings of rioters during protests after the country’s disputed election and is urging supporters to skip work Monday.

Odinga on Sunday spoke to a crowd in Kibera, a Nairobi slum where opposition supporters have battled police who fired live ammunition and tear gas in past days. Violence had broken out after Odinga said the Aug. 8 election was rigged; Kenya’s election commission, which declared President Uhuru Kenyatta had won, says its voting process was fair.

Odinga says there was “a plot to kill our supporters” and says opposition backers should protest by not going to work on Monday. He is also promising a major announcement on Tuesday.

A Kenyan human rights group says 24 people have been killed since the election.

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3:10 p.m.

Kenyan areas that were hit by deadly election violence were quiet on Sunday, with many people attending church services and police patrolling some streets.

Pastors delivered sermons appealing for calm in the Nairobi slum of Mathare, where rioters have battled police who fired live ammunition and tear gas. The pastors asked congregations to help rebuild and leave matters to God even if they feel they have been victims of injustice. Outside the churches, made of little more than wood frames and tin roofs, children played soccer, darts, checkers and other games.

Similar scenes unfolded in the capital’s Kibera slum, another site of recent clashes. The city of Kisumu, an opposition stronghold, was also calm, witnesses said.

While most of Kenya was unaffected by violence, opposition strongholds erupted in protest after their leader, Raila Odinga, said the election Tuesday was rigged. Police gunfire has killed at least 24 people, according to a Kenyan human rights group.

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AP journalists Christopher Torchia, Tom Odula, Jerome Delay and Ben Curtis in Nairobi, Kenya, contributed to this report.

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