death toll reaches 13 at kenya anti-tax hike protest

death toll reaches 13 at kenya anti-tax hike protest

At least 13 people have been killed and scores injured in Kenya after anti-tax hike protests turned violent, with police opening fire on demonstrators who stormed parliament and ransacked the complex. The unprecedented scenes have left the country reeling, with the government deploying the military to quell the unrest.

The mainly youth-led rallies, which began peacefully last week, escalated into chaos on Tuesday afternoon when police fired live rounds at protesters who were hurling stones and attempting to breach parliament’s security barriers. The clashes left parts of the complex ablaze and gutted, with scores of people fleeing for their lives.

The Kenyan Medical Association has reported a staggering number of casualties, with medics treating over 160 people, some with bullet wounds and others with severe injuries. The medical association’s president, Simon Kigondu, described the violence as unprecedented, saying he had never seen such a level of brutality against unarmed protesters.

The government has come under intense scrutiny over its handling of the crisis, with President William Ruto warning that it would take a tough line against “violence and anarchy.” However, human rights groups have accused the authorities of using excessive force against peaceful protesters.

The protests were sparked by the government’s proposal to increase taxes on essential goods and services, which has been met with widespread opposition from Kenyans struggling to make ends meet. The country’s economic woes have been exacerbated by a massive debt burden, with the government warning of a gaping budget shortfall.

As international condemnation pours in, Kenya’s neighbors and Western nations have expressed shock and concern over the violence. The United Nations Secretary-General and the African Union Commission have also weighed in, urging calm and restraint.

The crisis has sent shockwaves across the country, with many Kenyans calling for accountability and an end to the violence. As the nation grapples with the aftermath of the chaos, there are concerns that the unrest could further destabilize an already fragile economy.

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