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Kenyan protesters push their way into parliament as anti-tax protests turn violent

PROTESTERS pushed their way into Kenya’s parliament building today as anti-government demonstrations turned violent. 

Police fired live ammunition at protesters and part of the parliament building was on fire where politicians were debating the tax bill.

Thousands of Kenyans had taken to the streets of the capital Nairobi in the youth-led protest, denouncing proposed tax rises and calling for the president to quit.

The Kenyan Human Rights Commission said that it had witnessed four protesters being shot and that one person had been killed.

Hundreds more marched through other towns and cities, including  Mombasa on the coast of the Indian Ocean.

Today’s events followed a peaceful protest by thousands of people in Nairobi last week, during which police also targeted demonstrators.

Two people were killed, with one shot dead and the other hit by a tear-gas canister.

The contested legislation aims to raise £2.1 billion in taxes to lift Kenya’s economy out of debt.

Amendments have been made to scrap new taxes on bread, cooking oil and other goods, but opponents have demanded that the entire Bill be scrapped.

“We had been given promises that within two years we would see change, but what change are we seeing?” 24-year-old protester Derrick Mwathu told the BBC.

“There’s some things that are hard to understand, like how can you impose 16 per cent tax on bread? How can you tax sanitary pads?”

Before the violence erupted, protesters played music, waved Kenyan flags, blew whistles and chanted: “[President William] Ruto must go” and “All can be possible without Ruto.”

The protest took place as MPs voted on the proposed amendments during the Bill’s second reading.

Opposition politicians declined to cast ballots and shouted “reject” when it was their turn to do so.

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