Kenya police use tear gas to disperse protestors

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Riot police used tear gas to disperse protesters in Kenya's capital Nairobi on Tuesday and demonstrations took place in other towns, after young activists called for more protests following a week of clashes in which dozens died.

Reuters journalists saw clouds of tear gas on a main road through central Nairobi before midday, where riot police in helmets had been present since early morning.

Outside the capital, Kenyan television stations showed hundreds of protesters marching peacefully, carrying palm fronds in Mombasa on the Indian Ocean coast, and dozens in Kisumu on Lake Victoria. In the southwestern town of Migori, protesters had set tyres on fire.

Members of the protest movement, which has no official leaders and largely organises via social media, have rejected appeals from President William Ruto for dialogue, even after he abandoned proposed tax rises that triggered the demonstrations.

Dozens of Kenyans have been killed in demonstrations and clashes with police since June 18, most of them shot by officers last Tuesday, when some protesters tried to storm parliament to block lawmakers from voting on the tax increases.

Infuriated by the deaths - at least 39 according to the government-funded Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNHCR) - many are demanding that Ruto steps down.

Ruto has defended the actions of the police, and blamed the violence on "criminals" who hijacked the demonstrations.

The protests, which started as an online outpouring of anger over nearly $2.7 billion of tax hikes in a proposed finance bill, have grown into a nationwide movement against corruption and misgovernance.

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