Photo Credit: Bloomberg.

A section of Kenya’s parliament caught fire just minutes after protesters breached police lines and stormed the complex. Live footage on local television showed smoke billowing from within the parliament grounds.

The situation quickly escalated as police fired rounds to disperse the crowds, leading to reports of injuries among the demonstrators. The Kenya Human Rights Commission stated that it had witnessed four protesters being shot and claimed that one person had been killed, although this has not been confirmed. “Such actions are unacceptable and constitute a grave violation of human rights,” the Commission said.

Nearby, images surfaced of a police truck engulfed in flames, further intensifying the chaotic scene.

Thousands of protesters clashed with police, who used rubber bullets and teargas in attempts to break up the crowds. The unrest has spread to other cities and towns across the country, leading to widespread business closures and paralyzing transportation.

The protests erupted in response to the passage of a controversial finance bill by MPs, which introduced unpopular tax increases. The youth-led demonstrations called on legislators to reject the proposed taxes. Despite government revisions to some of the most contentious measures, officials insist that the new taxes are necessary to fund spending programs and reduce the national debt.

Security forces had been deployed to protect key government installations, including parliament, but were unable to prevent the protesters from entering the complex.

Human rights organizations and lawyers had voiced concerns about arbitrary arrests and the intimidation of activists during previous protests. There were reports of at least five prominent social media users being abducted at dawn, just hours before the demonstrations began.

The protests have drawn international attention, with support from Ugandan opposition leader Bobi Wine and South Africa’s Julius Malema.

Last week’s demonstrations, which were largely peaceful, resulted in at least two deaths and hundreds of injuries. President William Ruto acknowledged the protests and pledged to hold talks to address the concerns of the youth leading the demonstrations.