Kenyan Ministers Killed In Helicopter Crash

Minister for internal security and his deputy have died in police helicopter crash outside capital, government says

Minister for internal security and his deputy have died in police helicopter crash outside capital, government says

George Saitoti, Kenya's internal security minister and a leading voice against al-Shabaab, has been killed in a helicopter crash.

Kenya's minister for internal security, George Saitoti, and his deputy have been killed in a police helicopter crash in a forest just outside the capital, the government says.

A spokesman said the prime minister, Raila Odinga, had been informed of the deaths of Saitoti and his deputy, Orwa Ojode.

A former long-serving vice-president under the former president Daniel Arap Moi, Saitoti was also a presidential candidate in an election expected to be held by March next year.

A Reuters photographer counted three bodies at the scene of the crash in a forest in the Ngong area just outside Nairobi.

Debris from the burnt-out blue police helicopter was strewn in the brush where government officials and curious locals jostled to catch a glimpse.

It was not immediately clear what caused the crash. More people were feared to have been on board the helicopter.

Saitoti, an ally of the president, Mwai Kibaki, was the leading government voice against the Somali militant group al-Shabaab, often visiting the scenes of grenade attacks inside Kenya and vowing the east African nation would crush the group.

Kenya's troops have been fighting al-Shabaab in neighbouring Somalia since last October. The militants have killed several people in a string of grenade attacks in Nairobi, the far north and the coast in retaliation against Kenya's moves against them.