Kenya probes deadly violence that erupted during tax hike protests

Kenyan police are to investigate violence that broke out on Thursday during protests against planned tax hikes. One person was killed and 100 people arrested, with rights groups accusing security forces of using live rounds to quell the rallies.

Some 200 people were injured in the nationwide protests against government plans to raise $2.7 billion in additional taxes.

Thousands of mostly young people took to the streets of the capital Nairobi and elsewhere to pressure the government to abandon the proposals.

Police fired tear gas and water cannon to disperse protesters in Nairobi, five rights groups, including Amnesty International and the Kenya Medical Association, said in a joint statement.

The presence of spent cartridges implied the use of live rounds, they said.

An unidentified person died at Bliss Hospital from a gunshot wound to his thigh sustained during the protest, the Daily Nation newspaper reported.

The Independent Police Oversight Authority, a state body that oversees police operations, on Friday said it had documented the death of a man "allegedly as a result of police shooting".

The new taxes would include a 2.75 percent levy on income for the national medical insurance plan, along with increased taxes on vegetable oil and fuel.

Protesters are calling for the bill to be scrapped, saying it will choke the economy and raise the cost of living for Kenyans who are already struggling to make ends meet.

They are expected to meet next Tuesday to vote on the third and final reading of the bill.

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