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Murang'a man allegedly petrol-bombs a married pregnant woman who refused his advances

Police in Murang'a are tracking down a man who allegedly burnt a married, heavily pregnant woman with a petrol-loaded stove because she rejected his advances.

The incident happened on Saturday evening in an apartment block in Kanorero trading centre, Kangema sub-county.

Fellow tenant Alvaro King'ori said the suspect had repeatedly made passes at the woman even when he knew that she lived with another man in the same plot.

"It is like an obsession. The suspect had been warned repeatedly by the woman's husband ... The woman had publicly told him off but he was unrelenting. It was an incident that started a month ago," Mr King'ori said.

Kangema police boss Phillip Wambugu said the suspect escaped and the woman was admitted to Kangema Level Four Hospital in a critical condition.

"The report is that the suspect ambushed the woman as she was coming out of the compound's pit latrine and threw a burning stove on her. She has burns on her abdomen, thighs, and hands," he said.

Police were also trying to find the woman’s relatives, said to live in neighbouring Murang'a South sub-county.

Though the woman and her lover lived as a married couple, the man had not visited her relatives.

County Commissioner Karuku Ngumo said the matter was being treated as a "serious incident of gender-based violence".

He said such cruelty will not go unpunished "especially when we are speaking of a victim who is heavily pregnant".

Mr Ngumo said the woman moved to the town in 2020 and worked as a barmaid before quitting and settling down with the man in 2021.

"The assailant is said to have followed the woman to the rental plot and taken a room. He started the passes at the woman which have now ended in this heinous assault," he said.

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