Traditional taxi drivers in Nairobi are starting to feel the pinch from Uber. Photo: AFP
Kenyan police have launched an investigation after a spate of attacks on Uber drivers in Nairobi.
Criminal gangs have attacked drivers for the app-based taxi service over the past two days, authorities say.
The violence has been linked to traditional taxi drivers angered at being undercut by the new service, which often charges far cheaper fares.
The company has sparked protests in many of the cities in the 68 countries where it now operates.
The Kenyan interior ministry said in its statement that "barbaric acts" should never be committed to settle business rivalries.
Police told local media that they had received reports of people ordering Uber taxis, in order to assault the drivers when they arrived.
The company acknowledged "cases of isolated intimidation towards Uber driver-partners" in a statement carried by local media.
"These cases shock and sadden us, as these driver-partners are simply using the Uber platform to earn a living for themselves and their families," it added.
Kenya's Taxi Cab Association has demanded that Uber suspend its operations in Nairobi, arguing that it has an unfair advantage because its drivers do not pay costly registration fees, Capital FM reports.
Uber, which launched in Kenya in January 2015, is thought to be the world's most valuable private company, with an estimated worth of more than $50bn (£35bn).