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Fifty bodies found burned in church northwest of Nairobi during Kenya election

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 Story Highlights January 1 2008

NEW: AP: At least 50 bodies found burned in church northwest of Nairobi

International observers have called into question Kenyan election results

At least 124 people reported dead after violence following the election

The vote was marred by allegations of vote-rigging by both of the main parties

A looter carries clothes he stole past a burning shack in the Kibera slum of Nairobi.

More than 120 killed in Kenya election violence
Story Highlights
At least 124 people reported dead after violence following Kenya's election
The election was marred by allegations of vote-rigging by both of the main parties
Incumbent President Mwai Kibaki was controversially returned to power
Police officers threatened to shoot to kill curfew-breakers

NAIROBI, Kenya (CNN) -- One of the most stable nations in East Africa descended further into chaos Monday after a disputed election triggered violence that has killed at least 124 people.

The deaths in Kenya came as opposition supporters fought with police firing tear gas and live ammunition.

They were protesting the government's announcement Sunday that voters had re-elected President Mwai Kibaki with 51.3 percent of the vote, compared with 48.7 percent for Raila Odinga, the opposition leader.

International election monitors have alleged voting irregularities.

State television reported at least 124 have been killed in post-election violence, including people who died from gunshot and machete wounds.

The violence is rare for Kenya, an island of stability that has enjoyed relative calm even as war and chronic political violence wracked neighboring countries, like Ethiopia, Sudan and Uganda.

The United States is withholding congratulations for Kibaki, citing concerns of voting problems, even though Kibaki has claimed victory.

The opposition Orange Democratic Movement has scheduled rallies for Tuesday, raising fears of more violence.

"The Kenyan people are right now in a state of mourning," Odinga told CNN. "They are mourning the loss of democracy."

Kibaki appealed for calm.

"With the general election now behind us, it is now time for healing and reconciliation among all Kenyans," he said.

The violence took on ethnic overtones in some places, with reports of violence between members of the candidates' tribes.

Kibaki is a member of the largest tribe in Kenya, the Kikuyu, who comprise roughly 22 percent of the country's population. Odinga belongs to the Luo tribe, which makes up about 13 percent of population.

Witnesses told CNN Monday that they had seen widespread violence in the Nairobi slum of Kibera as angry Odinga supporters set fire to buildings. Police attempted to hold them back with tear gas and water cannon, witnesses said.

Local media reported a number of deaths as a result of the rioting, as well as reports of police brutality, although CNN has been unable to confirm this independently.

In the western port city of Kisumu -- the capital of Odinga's home province -- at least 19 people were shot dead by police, according to the Kenyan newspaper the Daily Nation.

Other media reports put the figure much higher, claiming up to 50 were killed there overnight.

In Nairobi, small bands of Odinga supporters were stopped from making their way to a rally in Uhuru Park -- a traditional site for political demonstrations in the center of the city. The rally was called by Odinga, who accused Kibaki of "doctoring" the vote.

Businesses in Nairobi were shut down and a government ban on live television broadcasts imposed Sunday was still in place as Kibaki struggled to cope with the fallout from the vote.

Hospitals in Kisumu said a number of people had been admitted overnight with gunshot wounds.

A Dr. Mawji at the Agha Khan hospital said the medical staff had treated seven men for gunshot injuries, one of who is in critical condition.

"I've been around town today and the atmosphere is calm and quiet but we have operated on a number of casualties," Mawji told CNN by phone.

A member of staff in the Imperial hotel in Kisumu told CNN by telephone that a curfew was in force on the streets.

The woman, who did not want to be named, said the city center was deserted except for armed police patrols.

She said she and other hotel staff had been forced to sleep in the hotel overnight after police threatened to shoot on sight anyone who breached the curfew.

"I have not been home to my family. We do not know what is happening," she told CNN.

The most closely fought election in Kenya's history threatened to unravel Sunday as opposition officials shouted down the electoral commission chairman as he tried to announce the result.

The official count put Kibaki narrowly ahead of Odinga of the opposition Orange Democratic Movement -- 4,584,721 votes to 4,352,993.

Sunday's result was immediately called into question, with election observers from the European Union saying they had doubts about the legitimacy of the count.

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said in a statement Sunday that Britain had "real concerns at the irregularities reported by the EU observers and others."

One international observer, who did not wish to be identified, told CNN that the vote count was "clearly cooked."

Analysts said, however, that it was probable that both of the main parties had been involved in electoral fraud.

Thomas Cargill, a specialist on African politics at the British think tank Chatham House, said it was difficult to imagine Odinga giving up his claims for the presidency without a fight.

"It is very worrying," Cargill told CNN.

Kibaki was sworn in Sunday in a ceremony at the presidential palace.

His slim margin of victory is a marked difference from his win five years ago in a landslide election. He had run on promises to fight corruption.

Since then, he has seen his authority erode amid a number of high-profile corruption scandals in his government.

He faced a serious challenge from Odinga, a flamboyant politician who had won support from rural and urban voters after promising to share the wealth among all the people.

CNN's Kim Norgaard in Nairobi contributed to this report.

Copyright 2007 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.

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The following picture is from Al jezera Arabic News.

During this battle, people robbed, killed, and revenged.