A police officer died Thursday of injuries sustained during a Kenyan opposition rally that was marred by clashes between protesters and law enforcement officials, police said Friday.
Veteran opposition leader Raila Odinga has called for bi-weekly protests against the government - every Monday and Thursday - accusing President William Ruto of "stealing" the August presidential election, of being "illegitimate" and of being unable to curb soaring prices.
These rallies were banned by the police.
On the third day of the rally, in Kisumu, in western Kenya, the stronghold of Raila Odinga, a police officer "died of injuries sustained in the line of duty," according to a statement by Japhet Koome, the police chief.
Koome said 20 police officers were "seriously injured while repelling violent protesters," pointing to "hooligans posing as protesters who invaded private property.
It was also in and around Kisumu that two civilians were killed in the two previous demonstrations by alleged police fire. Investigations have been launched by the institution responsible for overseeing law enforcement.
The international community and religious leaders have called for calm, fearing the situation could escalate into the ethnic violence seen after the 2007-08 elections, which left more than 1,100 people dead.
According to the Media Council of Kenya, which defends press rights in the East African country, "25 cases of attacks on local and foreign journalists at the hands of state and non-state actors" have been recorded since the protests began on March 20.
Monday saw the looting of a business owned by Mr. Odinga in Nairobi and a farm owned by Mr. Ruto's predecessor Uhuru Kenyatta on the outskirts of the capital.
On Wednesday, Home Affairs Minister Kithure Kindiki assured that anyone disturbing the peace would be prosecuted "irrespective of the political party" to which they belong while denouncing "lawlessness and criminal insanity.
Many Kenyans are struggling to feed themselves on a daily basis as they face rising prices for basic foodstuffs, a depreciating Kenyan shilling, and an unprecedented drought in some parts of the country.
In February, inflation reached 9.2 percent year-on-year, with food prices alone rising 13.3 percent.