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Anti-tax protesters shot and killed in Kenya – reports (VIDEO)

Police reportedly resorted to gunfire after failing to stop an angry crowd from entering parliament

At least eight people were shot and killed in Kenya on Tuesday after riot police clashed with anti-tax protesters in the capital, Nairobi, according to local media.

KTN News has published videos showing officers firing gunshots to disperse a crowd trying to storm the National Assembly as lawmakers passed a finance bill introducing controversial taxes. Reuters also reported that its correspondent counted at least five bodies outside the parliament after police began shooting. Tear gas and water cannons had already failed to stop the demonstrators.

The Kenya Human Rights Commission has stated that it witnessed the police shooting four people, killing one. “We strongly condemn the police killing. Such actions are unacceptable and constitute a grave violation of human rights. Justice and accountability are imperative. We will vigorously push for police accountability,” the NGO wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

According to several reports, the crowd “overwhelmed” the law enforcement present and made their way into the legislature, setting a section of it on fire. A police vehicle was also torched, local daily The Star reported.

“We want to shut down parliament and every MP should go down and resign,” a protestor identified as Davis Tafari told Reuters. “We will have a new government,” he said.

Youth-led protests broke out in Kenya last week in response to the government’s 2024 Finance Bill, which aims to raise an additional $2.7 billion in taxes to help reduce the country’s budget deficit. Protesters have been calling on MPs to withdraw the proposed increases – including an annual 2.5% tax on car ownership and a 16% tax on bread later removed from the legislation following public outcry.

READ MORE: Violent protests erupt in Kenya over controversial tax bill

Despite the outrage, lawmakers approved the Finance Bill on Tuesday, 195 votes to 106. The legislation now needs the signature of President William Ruto, who has promised to hold talks to address the youth concerns after at least two people were killed in the protests last week.

June 25, 2024 at 08:44PM

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