News / Africa

    Kenya Riots Over Slain Muslim Cleric Turn Deadly

    Policeman armed with pistol and tear gas patrols while firemen extinguish fire set by rioting youth at Salvation Army Church, Mombasa, Kenya, Oct. 4, 2013.
    Policeman armed with pistol and tear gas patrols while firemen extinguish fire set by rioting youth at Salvation Army Church, Mombasa, Kenya, Oct. 4, 2013.
    Four people have died and at least seven have been hopitalized in riots that erupted in the Kenyan port city of Mombasa after gunmen shot and killed a popular Muslim cleric and three of his associates.

    Rioters burned tires and set fire to a church in unrest that erupted in the wake of Friday afternoon prayers one day after unidentified attackers opened fire on Sheikh Ibrahim Amor and the three other men as they traveled home after delivering sermons at Musa Mosque.
     
    Witnesses say police fired tear gas on Friday and engaged in running battles with Muslim youth in the coastal city's impoverished Majengo neighborhood.
     
    Sheikh Amor was viewed as a successor to Aboud Rogo Mohammed, who preached at the same mosque and was accused by U.S. and U.N. officials of having links to the Somali militant group al-Shabab.
     
    Rights activists accuse Kenyan security forces of targeting and killing alleged Islamist radicals and terrorist suspects, and riots erupted after Rogo was fatally shot in 2012 on the same road where Amor was killed.
     
    Security officials have accused Sheikh Amor of radicalizing young people into terrorism, but police deny killing him, and Mombasa police commander, Robert Kitur, called the situation calm.
     
    “They tried to burn some tires but the situation is calm on the ground," he said. "They attempted to burn one of the churches, the Salvation Army, but we have put out the fire.”
     
    Local witnesses say police have been deployed to guard churches in areas hit by rioting.
     
    Speaking to reporters outside Jamia Mosque in Nairobi after Friday prayers, Al Amin Kimathi, head of the Muslim Human Rights Forum, condemned the killing of the four men and accused Kenyan security forces of being behind the attack.
     
    “We say this is savage attack, barbaric to the extreme and patently against all laws of this land and in total violation of all norms and human rights," he said. "We say this is a continuation of the extra-judicial killings that have occurred over the last two years.” 
     
    Kenya police say they have not made any arrests in connection with the killing of Sheikh Amor or his associates, but that the investigation is ongoing.
     
    Tensions have been high in Kenya since al-Shabab militants stormed a Nairobi mall in a violent attack and subsequent siege that left 72 people dead, including five of the gunmen.

    • A man throws a bucket of water to put out flames from a tire set on fire in a street by rioting youths, Mombasa, Kenya, Oct. 4, 2013.
    • Firemen put out a fire in the Salvation Army Church after it was set on fire by rioting youths, Mombasa, Kenya, Oct. 4, 2013.
    • An armed Kenyan police officer patrols near the Masjid Musa Mosque, where Muslim cleric Sheikh Ibrahim Ismael who was killed Thusday night preached, following rioting after Friday prayers, Mombasa, Kenya, Oct. 4, 2013.
    • A man uses his mobile phone next to the vehicle in which Sheikh Ibrahim Ismael and three others were killed near Mombasa, Kenya, Oct. 3, 2013.

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Elly from: Kenya
    October 05, 2013 12:28 AM
    Kill all the criminals

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    October 04, 2013 12:06 PM
    A cleric is killed, and so Kenya is at war? The whole world shouldn't catch. What about hundreds of sane people killed in predominantly muslim countries and societies? For the mere fact that western education is opening the eyes of school graduate in Africa, causing many to jettison a religion they know very little about, boko haram,el shaabab,al qaida in the magreb, tuareg fighters, etc. have turned parts of the continent to war front. Innocent children are killed, teachers are slaughtered like farm animals, security operatives have been hunted like criminals, yet no one is making a noise about this evil. What makes a muslim important, or more important than any other?

    It is wrong to kill people, but do muslims understand the importance of other peoples' lives once they are gone for jihad? In civil societies of today, even the law respects lives of even criminals and spare them, but muslims take lives at abandon as if they can create one, and when they are paid in their own coin, they start rioting. The world will not listen to their cry of wolf until they learn to respect lives. While no one encourages taking of innocent lives in any form of killing, it is wise to remind the muslims to come out of their timidity, open their religion up to discussion and let superior views carry the day.

    They cannot close up their gates and expect others to comply with their needs. What is good for the goose is also good for the gander. Other people also have blood running in the veins not water. It is because muslims always like to kill that they are sometimes killed in order to save the life of anyone who might be unjustly accused of blasphemy or any other law of sharia, even when the person is not a muslim. That must stop.
    In Response

    by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
    October 05, 2013 5:01 AM
    Dividing narrowly your world into two opposing sects: on one hand you branded all Muslims as terrorists, savages, murderers and prehistoric wild animals, while on the other hand you marked all non Muslims as civilised, peace-loving and victims of terrorism. This is an antiquated story.

    In black Africans killing do happen on tribal line. Kenya's current president, it's deputy president and well-known journalist were all indicted for war crimes. They were accused of killing opposing tribes. That's exactly what happened In Rwanda, Sudan, DRC, Nigeria etc. Boko Haram and Al-Shabab are a relatively recent phenomenon. majority of Muslims do not agree with them.
    Not only Muslims but also Christians do not appreciate opening their religion up to critical discussions. Because both religion's principal are not based on careful reasoning.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora