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Finance Bill protests: Gunshots, fire at Parliament as protesters gain entry

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Citizen TV's live coverage showed security agents hiding behind walls while pursuing the protesters and gunshots could be heard.

Protests against the Finance Bill turned more chaotic and deadly on Tuesday afternoon after members of the public forced their way in, setting fires and causing other destruction.

Citizen TV's live coverage showed security agents hiding behind walls while pursuing the protesters and gunshots could be heard.

Earlier, photographs and videos emerged of protesters wounded or lying dead on the streets of Nairobi, with reports indicating that the police fired live bullets as confrontations escalated.

Reports also indicated that several protesters had been shot and either wounded or killed by the police outside the Parliament buildings while attempting to breach the perimeter walls.

Flames rise at the Parliament buildings on the day of a demonstration against Kenya's proposed Finance Bill 2024/2025 in Nairobi, on June 25, 2024. (Photo: REUTERS/Monicah Mwangi)

Reuters reported that the bodies of at least five people were seen outside Parliament and that, at one point, protesters chased some police officers away.

It was reported that lawmakers were trapped inside Parliament as the protesters carried on outside, chanting "Wasaliti", which is Swahili for "traitors".

Meanwhile, a paramedic outside Parliament told Reuters that at least 50 people were injured by gunfire during the tax protests as police clashed with hundreds of demonstrators. It was also reported that at least 10 people had been killed.

As the capital and other towns turned chaotic, President William Ruto was in Naivasha, Nakuru County, attending the Retreat on the Institutional Reforms of the African Union.

The AU earlier commented on the protests in Kenya, telling the government that "peaceful protest is protected under the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights" and urging it to explore "alternative measures to alleviate the financial burden on ordinary citizens."

The African Union Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights has also called on Ruto's Kenya Kwanza government to immediately release "individuals arrested for participating in peaceful protests, with utmost respect for due process of the law under Article 7 of the African Charter."

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