Lawmaker's Killing Draws Fury

ELDORET, Kenya -- A police officer in Kenya shot dead an opposition legislator on Thursday, the second killed in a week, sparking fresh protests and interrupting talks to try to end more than a month of violence.

Warning of catastrophe, UN chief Ban Ki-moon said he would travel Friday to Nairobi from an African Union summit in neighboring Ethiopia to help his predecessor Kofi Annan, who has been trying to bring an end to the crisis.

Political and ethnic violence has killed 850 people in Kenya since the disputed Dec. 27 re-election of President Mwai Kibaki.

The instability has shocked neighboring states and Western donors, and turned Kenya from one of Africa's more stable and prosperous nations to the continent's most urgent crisis.

"Violence continues, threatening to escalate to catastrophic levels," Ban told the 53-nation African Union summit.

The unrest has taken the lid off decades-old divisions between communities over land, wealth and power dating from British colonial rule.

Fresh protests erupted on Thursday after David Kimutai Too, an opposition Orange Democratic Movement member of parliament, was killed in the Rift Valley town of Eldoret.

Police commissioner Hussein Ali said Too's murder was a "crime of passion" and that the traffic police officer responsible, who had been arrested, had shot a fellow officer believed to be his girlfriend along with the legislator.