Violence broke out between protesters and security officials in Kenya on Thursday, the third day of opposition demonstrations to protest against the government and the high cost of living in the country.
Security was strict, with police roaming the city of Nairobi in riot gear after violent altercations broke out during similar demonstrations on Monday.
On Thursday, dozens of people engaged police in running fights while hurling projectiles and burning tyres in the crowded Nairobi neighbourhoods of Mathare and Kibera. Police reacted with tear gas.
Protesters also threw rocks at officers and ignited bonfires in the centre of the road in western Kenya's lakeside strongholds of Kisumu and Homa Bay, home to opposition leader Raila Odinga.
Every Monday and Thursday, Odinga has called for demonstrations, charging President William Ruto of stealing the election last year and failing to rein in the rising cost of living.
The government has deemed the protests unlawful. On prior days, the protests turned violent, with police using tear gas, water cannon, and occasionally live ammunition, while looters went on the rampage.
According to official statistics, 51 police officers, 85 civilians, and two civilians have been slain.
The international community and religious leaders have urged restraint, expressing concern that the violence may spiral into the kind of interethnic conflict that followed the 2007 election and resulted in more than 1,100 fatalities.
"We are deeply concerned by the recent unrest and violence as well as destruction of places of worship and private property," eight foreign embassies, including the United States and former colonial power Britain said in a joint statement Wednesday.
"We, therefore, call on all leaders and all Kenyans to maintain peace, show restraint, and work toward a swift resolution for the common good of Kenya."
The African Union also appealed Tuesday for calm and political dialogue to put a stop to the chaos.
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