US condemns reported violence in Kenya

White House briefing in Washington

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The White House condemned on Wednesday the reported violence in Kenya, where medics said 23 people had died this week after violent clashes between police and protesters.

Kenyan President William Ruto on Wednesday withdrew planned tax rises, bowing to pressure from demonstrators who had stormed parliament and threatened more action this week.

"The United States is deeply concerned about and we condemn the reported violence in all its forms," White House national security spokesman John Kirby told reporters.

On Tuesday, police opened fire on crowds who massed around parliament and later broke into the assembly's compound, minutes after lawmakers had voted through the tax measures.

"The United States has been in touch with the Kenyan government to urge appropriate use of force by the police, to respect human rights ... and we will continue to push for calm to prevail," said Kirby.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason, writing by David Ljunggren; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)