Kenya's rival sides agree to immediate action to halt violence

Kenya's rival sides agreed Friday to take immediate action to end monthlong violence over the disputed presidential election, while the death toll mounted when police fired on mobs setting homes and businesses ablaze in the west of the country. Mediator Kofi Annan, the former UN secretary-general, said they had agreed to tackle within a week the most pressing issues including resolving the immediate political crisis. Both sides called for illegal militias to be disbanded and for the investigation of all crimes connected to the violence, including alleged excessive use of force by police. "The first (step) is to take immediate action to stop the violence and restore fundamental liberties," Annan said. In western Kenya, police fired on armed mobs who set homes and businesses on fire. At least 14 people died in the latest clashes, ignited by a police officer killing an opposition legislator on Thursday.