A human rights agency has asked the government to investigate last Monday’s clashes in Garissa after three Kenya Defence Force soldiers were killed in the area.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) claims that following the killing of the soldiers, surrounded the town and started attacking residents and traders.
The lobby claimed the military shot at people, raped women and assaulted anyone on sight.
“The level of abuse by Kenyan security agencies following the Monday afternoon attack on three of its military officers is appalling and a complete contradiction of the government’s obligation to protect its citizens and guarantee their rights and freedoms,” said HRW deputy Africa director Leslie Lefkow said.
He went on: “This has become a pattern that should not be allowed to continue.” The agency urged the government to ensure the security agencies respected the rule of law.
“It should ensure that there are speedy and independent criminal investigations into all the incidents in which abuses have been alleged and those responsible should be brought to justice,” said Mr Lefkow.
Quoting an unnamed employee at the Garissa Provincial Hospital, the agency reported that at least 52 people with severe injuries were hospitalised there on Monday and Tuesday following the army operation.
Among the eight people admitted to the hospital with gunshot wounds were two school boys who were protesting the operation, HRW said.
However, the statement said other witnesses claimed the students were shot on while coming from school.
“The town is burning, over 70 people have been injured, some by gunshots from the Kenya Defence Forces, women have been raped,” Dujis MP Aden Duale told HRW moments after the operation was launched on Monday.
President Kibaki last week ordered an inquiry into the killing of more than 40 policemen by bandits in Baragoi and the Garissa clashes.