Voice of America (Washington, DC)

4 October 2013

Kenya: Riots Erupt in Kenyan City After Muslim Cleric Slain

Photo: Capital FM
Authority asked to look into extra-judicial killings in the country following the execution of a Muslim cleric in Mombasa (file photo).

Rioters have burned tires and set fire to a church in the Kenyan city of Mombasa after gunmen shot and killed a popular Muslim cleric and three of his associates.

The unrest erupted on Friday, a day after unidentified attackers opened fire on Sheikh Ibrahim Amor and his associates as they traveled in a vehicle near Mombasa.

Witnesses say police fired tear gas on Friday and engaged in running battles with Muslim youths in an impoverished neighborhood of Mombasa. The Kenyan Red Cross says one person was shot and killed during the unrest.

Sheikh Amor was viewed as a successor to Aboud Rogo Mohammed, who preached at the same mosque in Mombasa and was accused of having links to the Somali militant group al-Shabab.

Riots erupted after Rogo was fatally shot in 2012 on the same road where Amor was killed.

Both the United Nations and the United States had accused Rogo of backing al-Shabab militants.

Security officials had accused Sheikh Amor of radicalizing youths into terrorism but police have denied killing him.

Tensions have been high in Kenya since al-Shabab militants stormed a Nairobi mall earlier this month. The attack and subsequent siege by the military left 72 people dead, including five of the gunmen.

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