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.

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    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.

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