At least five killed, parliament set ablaze in Kenya tax protests

Police shot at protesters as they breached the parliament complex in Nairobi on Tuesday, with at least five demonstrators killed and dozens more wounded. Angry over proposed tax hikes, many protesters across the country are calling for President William Ruto to leave office.

The military has been deployed to support police, who earlier fired tear gas, water cannon, rubber bullets and – according to a rights group – live ammunition against protesters, as tensions sharply escalated in protests that have caught the government off guard.

"Despite the assurance by the government that the right to assembly would be protected and facilitated, today's protests have spiraled into violence," several NGOs, including Amnesty Kenya, said a joint statement.

The Kenya Medical Association had earlier said in a statement on X that: "At least five people have been shot dead. Thirty-one people have been injured."

The White House appealed for calm and more than 10 Western nations – including Canada, Germany and Britain – said they were "especially shocked by the scenes witnessed outside the Kenyan Parliament".

Mainly youth-led rallies have galvanised outrage over proposed tax hikes and simmering anger over a cost-of-living crisis to fuel rapidly growing demonstrations.

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