Kenya: Police kill 3 civilians amid face mask protest

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Kenyan police have killed three people when a crowd of motorcycle taxi drivers protested against the arrest of a colleague for ignoring coronavirus restrictions.

Police shot at the crowd in the western city of Lessos after clashes, a police statement said.

The police have ordered the arrest of the officers involved.

Kenyan police face increasing scrutiny over accusations they are excessively enforcing the coronavirus restrictions.

A cobbler reportedly tried to intervene when police were harassing a motorbike taxi driver for not wearing a mask, reports the Standard newspaper.

The Daily Nation newspaper adds that the police were arguing over a bribe of 50 Kenyan shillings ($0.50; £0.40).

The police then shot dead the cobbler, named as 40-year-old Lazarus Tirop.

The crowd started protesting against Mr Tirop’s death.

Hundreds of villagers followed the police back to their police station and set alight a police officer’s house, reports the Daily Nation.

The police statement says two more people were then shot dead.

It goes on to say that the police intend to take “stern disciplinary action against any other officer found culpable”.

READ ALSO: Kenyan Govt apologizes to sporting legends, veterans as govt sets to intervene

A night-time curfew was introduced at the end of March, along with other measures, in order to slow the spread of Covid-19.

At least seven people were killed in different parts of Kenya in the first five nights of the curfew, rights group Amnesty International said.

On Tuesday a policeman was charged with the murder of 13-year-old Yasin Moyo, who was shot as he stood on a balcony in March watching police enforce a night-time curfew.

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