Kenya anti-government protests leave 39 dead

Dozens of people have died in Kenya amid ongoing protests that were triggered last month by a proposed tax increase.

A human rights group in Kenya says that 39 people died and 361 people were injured from June 18 through July 1.

Demonstrations have been spreading in Kenya since mid-June. On June 25, some demonstrators turned violent and stormed the parliament compound, prompting security forces to fire live bullets.

Kenyan President William Ruto subsequently announced a withdrawal of the tax hike. But rallies demanding his resignation are continuing across the country.

On Tuesday, clashes broke out in the capital Nairobi. Riot police fired tear gas grenades and charged at stone-throwing protestors.

Kenya is the economic center of East Africa. Many Japanese businesses have set up operations in the country.

But the nation's economy was affected severely by factors such as the coronavirus pandemic and severe droughts. The government was trying to restore fiscal health by significantly raising taxes.

Discontent with the government's economic policies remains strong, especially among young people who are struggling with soaring food, fuel and other living costs.