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Kenya Cops Attack Students at Riot

March 5, 1998

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) _ Police fired tear gas Thursday at students who blocked a highway with burning tires and trees to protest the suspension of classmates who had participated in anti-violence rallies.

About 400 students threw rocks and swung sticks at police who retaliated with clouds of choking tear gas. Police badly beat at least two students with batons, and rocks thrown by students hurt two journalists.

Earlier, the students marched through downtown Nairobi whistling and chanting, ``Moi must go,″ registering their anger at President Daniel arap Moi, who has led this East African country for 20 years.

Kenya has been troubled by political violence since July, when protests began over Moi’s refusal to make reforms before general elections in December. Religious leaders say nearly 300 Kenyans have been killed.

When classes resumed Monday, many of Kenyatta University’s 8,000 students protested the killings. At least 17 were suspended.

Fueling anger on the campus, 10 miles north of Nairobi, another 2,000 students were barred from classes because they could not pay their tuition. The annual fee has soared from $100 in 1994 to nearly $850 this year.

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