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At least 7 killed in renewed conflict in Kenya's refugee camp

NAIROBI, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) -- At least seven refugees have been killed in a renewed violence involving different communities living in Kakuma refugee camp in northwest Kenya, government official confirmed on Monday.

Kenya's Acting Commissioner of Refugees Haron Komen said the clashes which began last week between rival ethnic groups from South Sudan have now spread to include refugees from Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

"So far, seven people have been killed -- four Nuers and one Dinka -- both from South Sudan and two Burundians," Komen told Xinhua by telephone.

He said the Saturday fighting was started when a Burundian motor cyclist was involved in an incident last Thursday that left a Nuer injured.

"The Nuer retaliated by attacking every Burundian and Congolese refugees that resulted in the deaths of the refugees. The situation has now been stabilized and the government and UN High Commissioner for Refugees are trying to bring the refugees back to the camp," Komen said.

Thousands of refugees had fled the Kakuma refugee camp following violent clashes which have sparked tension among the refugees.

The skirmishes, Komen said, followed last week's incident between Dinka and Nuer, the largest and belligerent ethnic groups in South Sudan, in which one Dinka was reportedly beaten to death by angry Nuer youth after a Dinka man allegedly raped a 9-year old Nuer girl-child, leaving her in coma.

"There was no rape at all. The Nuer get agitated and always want to revenge for every slightest mistake. We are making arrangements to separate them from the rest of the refugees," Komen said.

According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Kakuma refugee camp currently provides shelter to more than 174, 000 refugees mainly from South Sudan against its capacity of 125, 000 people.

More people are expected to arrive in the camp due to the rainy season and the ongoing conflict in South Sudan.

Kenya and UNHCR have set up a refugee reception centre along the Kenya-South Sudan border to register the refugees fleeing ongoing fighting between the government and rebels in the world's newest state.

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