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Kenyan police shoot anti-tax bill protesters, several killed

Thousands of people joined the youth-led demonstration in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, on Tuesday to demand that lawmakers vote against the bill amid soaring tensions over a cost-of-living crisis in the country.

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Kenyan police shoot anti-tax bill protesters, several killed

Several people have been killed after police fired live rounds at protesters trying to storm Kenya’s legislature, where lawmakers voted to pass a contentious finance bill that would hike taxes.

Thousands of people joined the youth-led demonstration in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, on Tuesday to demand that lawmakers vote against the bill amid soaring tensions over a cost-of-living crisis in the country.

But legislators voted to pass the bill, and some then fled the chamber as protesters breached the complex of the Parliament of Kenya. Parts of the Parliament building were set ablaze.

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Police eventually managed to drive the protesters from the building amid clouds of tear gas and the sound of gunfire. The lawmakers were evacuated through underground tunnels, local media reported.

At least five people were killed and 31 others were wounded, the Kenya Medical Association and several other NGOs said in a statement on Tuesday.

It said that of the wounded, 13 had been shot with live bullets and four with rubber bullets.

“Despite the assurance by the government that the right to assembly would be protected and facilitated, today’s protests have spiraled into violence,” the groups said.

Kenyan President William Ruto said that the security of Kenyans remained his “utmost priority”.

Ruto called the deadly protests “treasonous”, adding that the debate over the tax increases had been “hijacked by dangerous people”.

Police opened fire after tear gas and water cannon failed to disperse the crowds.

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