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[Update] 1 confirmed dead in Kenya opposition protest

[Update] 1 confirmed dead in Kenya opposition protest

Kenya

One person has been confirmed dead and six others injured on Monday during opposition protest in Kenya’s western city of Kisumu.

Kenya Red Cross corroborated the report by Kenyan national television which reported one dead.

The opposition, however, said two protesters had been shot dead after police had fired in the air to disperse the protesters.

“We have confirmed two people shot dead. We are yet to establish the circumstances,” Dennis Onyango, spokesman for opposition leader Raila Odinga, told Reuters.

Supporters of Kenya’s opposition party, Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD), on Monday morning continued their weekly protests despite warning by police after declining the party’s notification.

The protesters blocked roads while they burned tyres and stones in Kenya’s western city of Kisumu. The protesters were also carrying banners and shouting the slogan “IEBC must go”, Reuters reported.

The weekly protests, which began since April, are against the country’s electoral body, Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), which the opposition accuse of being biased and call for its immediate dissolution.

A meeting between President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga last week failed to defuse tensions after the opposition suspended its protests for the talks.

On Thursday last week, the opposition party CORD sent a letter to the police notifying them of a “peaceful demonstration” today.

The police replied on Friday declining the notification citing a high court order barring any demonstrations against the electoral body.

The declination was followed with a caution statement that any person who demonstrates “will be in breach of the law and risks arrest and prosecution”.

The police have come under criticism for violence meted out at anti-IEBC protesters in April when riot police were caught on camera beating protesters after tear gas and water canons were used to disperse them.

Internal investigation into the incident is ongoing.