At least three people were shot dead after a team from the Kenyan paramilitary police (the GSU) opened fire on a crowd that was protesting against wildlife attacks.
The protesters in Masimba area had on Thursday blocked the main highway connecting the capital, Nairobi, to the coastal city of Mombasa.
The area governor said “local communities are getting frustrated by the loss of human lives to wildlife” in the area that borders a national park.
“The police should desist from using excessive force when trying to maintain law and order in circumstances like today’s… These deaths could have been avoided with a little more understanding,” Governor Joseph Ole Lenku tweeted.
There are unconfirmed reports that the protesters hurled stones at a lorry that was carrying the officers.
The local police boss is quoted by local media as saying that an investigation into the incident was ongoing.
The road is crucial for East Africa’s economy as it links the port of Mombasa to landlocked countries, such as Uganda, South Sudan and Rwanda.
A senator who was driving in the area during the protest said stones were hurled at his vehicle.