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Kenya to evacuate citizens from S. Africa amid xenophobic violence

NAIROBI, April 16 (Xinhua) -- Kenya will evacuate its nationals from South Africa following increased xenophobic violence, its government said on Thursday.

Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Amina Mohamed, said that so far there were no Kenyan casualties in the uproar in South Africa.

"We are planning to evacuate those we can get hold of," Mohamed said.

Her remarks come as foreigners in South Africa fear the attacks may spread across the country after a new spate of violence left at least five people killed in the eastern port city of Durban.

Some foreign-owned shops in Johannesburg's downtown area have reportedly shut this week amid the fears, with the police maintaining a heavy presence in the city.

Mohamed said some Kenyans living in the affected regions, mostly business people, had moved to temporary camps provided for victims, but not in large numbers.

She said the Kenyan Mission in South Africa is ready to offer assistance to any Kenyan national who may be adversely affected.

Kenya's official figures show some 450 Kenyans are in Durban, mostly in the city center.

Thousands of local people in Durban on Thursday held a protest march against xenophobia violence.

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