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

Video In US, Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy

Holiday marks date Columbus discovered Americas, but some are offended by legacy because he enslaved many natives he encountered More

Video Through Sports, Austria Tries to Give Migrants Traction

With 85,000 people expected to claim asylum in Austria this year, its government has made integration through joint physical activities a key objective More

Video Kickboxing Champion Shares Sport With Young Migrants

Pouring into Europe by hundreds of thousands, some migrants, especially youngsters, are finding sports a way to integrate into new host countries More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
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.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemeni
Henry Ridgwell
October 12, 2015 4:03 PM
The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemen

The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video No Resolution in Sight to US House Speaker Drama

Uncertainty grips the U.S. Congress, where no consensus replacement has emerged to succeed Republican House Speaker John Boehner after his surprise resignation announcement. Half of Congress is effectively leaderless weeks before America risks defaulting on its national debt and enduring another partial government shutdown.

Video New Art Exhibit Focuses on Hope

Out of struggle and despair often comes hope. That idea is behind a new art exhibit at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. "The Big Hope Show" features 25 artists, some of whom overcame trauma and loss. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy as US Holiday

The second Monday of October is Columbus Day in the United States, honoring explorer Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the Americas. The achievement is a source of pride for many, but for some the holiday is marked by controversy. Adrianna Zhang has more.

Video Anger Simmers as Turks Begin to Bury Blast Victims

The Turkish army carried out new air strikes on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets on Sunday, a day after the banned group announced a unilateral cease fire. The air raids apparently are in retaliation for the Saturday bombing in Turkey's capital Ankara that killed at least 95 people and wounded more than 200 others. But as Zlatica Hoke reports, there are suspicions that Islamic State is involved.

Video Bombings a Sign of Turkey’s Deep Troubles

Turkey has begun a three-day period of mourning following Saturday’s bomb attacks in the capital, Ankara, that killed nearly 100 people. With contentious parliamentary elections three weeks away, the attacks highlight the challenges Turkey is facing as it struggles with ethnic friction, an ongoing migrant crisis, and growing tensions with Russia. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Afghanistan’s Progress Aided by US Academic Center

Recent combat in Afghanistan has shifted world attention back to the central Asian nation’s continuing civil war and economic challenges. But, while there are many vexing problems facing Afghanistan’s government and people, a group of academics in Omaha, Nebraska has kept a strong faith in the nation’s future through programs to improve education. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Omaha, Nebraska.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video In 'He Named Me Malala,' Guggenheim Finds Normal in Extraordinary

Davis Guggenheim’s documentary "He Named Me Malala" offers a probing look into the life of 18-year-old Malala Yousafsai, the Pakistani teenager who, in 2012, was shot in the head by the Taliban for standing up for her right to education in her hometown in Pakistan's Swat Valley. Guggenheim shows how, since then, Malala has become a symbol not as a victim of brutal violence, but as an advocate for girls’ education throughout the world. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.

Video Paintable Solar Cells May Someday Replace Silicon-Based Panels

Solar panels today are still factory-manufactured, with the use of some highly toxic substances such as cadmium chloride. But a researcher at St. Mary’s College, Maryland, says we are close to being able to create solar panels by painting them on a suitable surface, using nontoxic solutions. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs