An Associated Press investigation has found mounting evidence that many ordinary cops in Kenya are killing unarmed terror suspects, shakedown victims and even children — spreading fear, breeding corruption and complicating efforts to deal with terrorism.

Although death squads have long been known to operate in Kenya, more than a dozen interviews with victims, police, lawyers, activists and analysts suggest a big share of the violence is also being carried out by ordinary beat cops. Evidence examined by AP suggests they are almost never punished.

"The broader picture here is one of utter impunity," said Leslie Lefkow, deputy director of Human Rights Watch's Africa Division. She said she fears that extrajudicial killings will only worsen.