News / Africa

One Killed As Kenyan Police Clash With Mombasa Rioters

Muslim youth throw stones at riot police outside Masjid Musa Mosque in Mombasa, Kenya, Aug. 28, 2012.
Muslim youth throw stones at riot police outside Masjid Musa Mosque in Mombasa, Kenya, Aug. 28, 2012.
VOA News
Kenyan police have clashed with Muslim youths in the port city of Mombasa, in a second day of riots sparked by the killing of a radical Muslim cleric.

Police say an officer was killed Tuesday in a grenade attack by one of the protesters.  Earlier, police fired tear gas in an effort to disperse youths who were throwing stones.

Mombasa residents said they were taking shelter as groups of young men rampaged through the streets.  A reporter for VOA's Swahili Service says youths looted stores and burned two churches Tuesday.

Muslim leaders appealed for calm.

"Some innocent people have been injured and others killed, we want peace to restored in Mombasa,'' said Mohamed Khalifa with the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya.

The riots broke out after the shooting death of Aboud Rogo Mohammed, who the United States and United Nations had accused of helping al-Shabab militants in Somalia.

Witnesses say unidentified gunmen killed the cleric Monday as he drove a van carrying family members.

The United States placed Rogo on a sanctions list last month for allegedly recruiting fighters and raising money for the Islamist militant group.

The United Nations Security Council placed its own travel ban and assets-freeze on the cleric, saying he used an extremist group, al-Hijra, as a way of recruiting Swahili-speaking Africans to fight in Somalia.

In a statement Tuesday, al-Shabab called on Kenyan Muslims to "take all necessary measures to protect their religion" from what it says were the "enemies of Islam."

Al-Shabab is fighting to overthrow Somalia's U.N.-backed government. The militant group is known to have supporters in Kenya, which has a large Somali immigrant community.

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