Kenyan presidential candidate killed in helicopter crash
Minister for Internal Security, along with deputy among six killed in police helicopter crash
Kenya's Minister for Internal Security George Saitoti is among the six
people killed in a police helicopter crash near the Kenyan capital of
Nairobi. Also killed in the crash were Saitoti's deputy Orwa Ojode, two
pilots and two bodyguards.
Kenya's Minister for Internal Security George Saitoti was long a vital presence in African politics. A long-serving vice president under former president Daniel Arap Moi, he was a staunch ally of President Mwai Kibaki.
The cause of the crash was not immediately clear. The helicopter landed in the Ngong hills on the outskirts of the Kenyan capital. According to Al Jazeera correspondent Peter Greste, the area is notorious for bringing down aircraft. "It wouldn't be surprising if there was some sort of pilot error or mechanical failure," Greste says.
Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga declared that his cabinet would hold a special session on the incident. "This is a terrible tragedy that has struck our country this morning. Nobody knows exactly the cause of this accident. That is why experts will carry out investigations," Odinga told journalists.
"We will do everything possible to ensure we find we find out the cause of this accident, but for now it is just an accident."
Saitoti was long a vital presence in African politics. A long-serving vice president under former president Daniel Arap Moi, he was a staunch ally of President Mwai Kibaki. A leading government voice against al-Shabab, Saitoti often visited the scenes of grenade attacks carried out inside Kenya and had vowed that Kenya would crush the group.
The reprehensible Al-Shabab group left a particularly loathsome message on its Twitter account. "[Al-Shabab] welcomes the death of the evil minister upon whose authorization thousands of Muslims suffered both in Somalia and in Kenya.
"For the hundreds of Muslims killed and displaced by Kenya's brutal invasion, Saitoti's death is but a droplet of justice in a sea of oppression," the group tweeted.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Kenya, Somalia, George Saitoti, helicopter crash, al-Shabab
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