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Fearful Kenyans Attack 2 Americans

November 7, 2000

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) _ Two Americans, believed to be missionaries, and a Kenyan lay preacher were attacked by villagers who thought they intended to abduct children, police said Tuesday.

The three were driving Monday near Kisumu, 150 miles northwest of Nairobi, when villagers blocked the road and attacked them with stones, clubs and other crude weapons, said Kisumu police chief Ali Tabwara.

Kenya police spokesman Dola Indidis said the Americans were Kennedy Miller, in his 30s, and Gene Beachy, 18. It was unclear where they were they were from.

The three suffered head and facial wounds but were not hospitalized.

They were in the Kisumu area to preach but ``were mistaken for child abductors,″ Indidis said.

The three tried to evade their attackers by driving through a rice paddy, but their car got stuck in the mud, Tabwara said. The mob dragged them out and beat them before setting fire to the car.

Police said 14 people were arrested after the incident.

Kisumu residents have been concerned about rumors that devil worshippers have been kidnapping children for satanic rituals, Tabwara said. In October, there were clashes in several towns following a spate of child killings many attributed to devil worshippers.

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