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Second death linked to British troops alleged burning of Kenyan wildlife park

THE family of a Kenyan man who developed breathing problems after British troops allegedly torched thousands of acres of a Kenyan wildlife park say that they believe the fire caused his death. 

It is the second death believed to be linked to the inferno in March at the privately owned Lolldaiga estate in north-central Kenya, which hosts massive annual military training exercises by British troops. 

The blaze lasted for four days, destroying around 12,000 acres of land and sending thick plumes of black smoke over the area. 

More than 1,000 locals have launched a lawsuit against the British army, claiming its training exercises ignited the fire. 

According to website Declassified UK, an 82-year-old Kenyan man Murage Gitonga, died on November 19 following a throat cancer diagnosis. 

His daughter Gathoni told the website: “About three months after the fire he started coughing and complaining about his chest.

“He was complaining about the black smoke from the fire. We live near it, not far.”

After taking her father to hospital, doctors found a tumour in his throat that was growing rapidly and he died soon after, medical reports seen by Declassified showed. 

She said that the family believes the fire caused the tumour. 

Other residents near the blaze have also reported experiencing breathing problems since March. 

It comes after a worker at the wildlife park, Linus Murangiri, died after being run over by a vehicle while trying to get help to extinguish the blaze. 

A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said: “Our aim will always be to do whatever is necessary to prevent a fire such as this happening again. While the incident is under investigation, it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

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