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Warders block bid to free inmates in Kisumu

KISUMU, September 4 – Prison warders fired live bullets in the air to thwart an attempt by rioters to free prisoners in Kisumu on Thursday morning.  

Witnesses said the prisoners were in a van being ferried to the courts when the incident occurred.

Kisumu Town West Member of Parliament John Olago Aluoch and area District Commissioner James ole Serian were caught up in the melee as police tear-gassed the protestors.

Trouble began when traders at the Kisumu bus terminus protested over the demolition of their business stands by council officers.  It was when the two leaders stepped in an attempt to address them that they were tear-gassed.

Police said at least two people had been injured, while more than 10 others had been detained following the chaos.

Transport in the town was completely paralysed forcing some area residents to walk to work.

Traders barricaded the Kisumu-Kakamega road and pelted motorists with stones before police arrived. Commuters scampered to safety. Several vehicles were destroyed before relative calm was restored.

Earlier, police also fired bullets to stop the irate youth from storming the Kisumu Municipal Council offices.

Its officers had pulled down the trading stands Wednesday night claiming they had been erected illegally.

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