World Bulletin/News Desk
Muslim protesters clashed with police in Tanzania's commercial capital and on the semi-autonomous island of Zanzibar on Friday.
In Dar es Salaam, protests against the arrest of a Muslim cleric turned violent, while in Zanzibar, supporters of an Islamist group have repeatedly fought police over the disappearance of their spiritual leader, who was then released after nearly four days in captivity.
In Zanzibar, a predominantly Muslim island, supporters of the Islamic Uamsho (Awakening) movement protested for the third day.
Uamsho followers, mostly youths and urban poor, clashed with police after Friday prayers, hurling rocks at police who retaliated with tear gas in sporadic exchanges around the main historic area of Stone Town.
Roads were temporarily closed, with rocks and coconuts strewn across the asphalt, and most businesses shut for the day. Riot police were stationed around mosques around Stone Town.
Fighting erupted on Wednesday, a day after the group's leader Sheikh Farid Hadi disappeared in unknown circumstances.
But late on Friday evening, the popular cleric was released, with shouts of "Allah Akbar" heard rising above Stone Town's maze of narrow alleys which separate Arab-style white coral stone houses.
"He is free. I had my picture taken with him," Thabit Juma, an eyewitness, told Reuters.
One Uamsho member who did not wish to be named confirmed Hadi has been freed, though he would not comment on who was responsible for his disappearance.
Earlier in the day another influential Uamsho cleric Sheikh Azzan Hamdan said the police were not doing enough to search for Hadi and set a deadline, 4 p.m. (1300GMT) on Saturday, for Hadi's safe return.
In Dar es Salaam, protesters left the Mtambani mosque after Friday prayers and marched towards the town centre chanting demands for the release of Muslim cleric Sheikh Issa Ponda.
"Police came in and started firing tear gas, while Muslim protesters responded by throwing stones," witness Salum Haji told Reuters. In the city centre streets were deserted in anticipation of further violence.
"All shops are closed in the city centre and there are heavily armed policemen patrolling the streets. We are all locked inside (a shop). I don't know how I'm going to get home," resident Neema Swai told Reuters.
Dar es Salaam's regional police commander, Suleiman Kova, said Ponda had been arrested on Tuesday for criminal trespass on private property and inciting followers to commit violence.
Ponda is the secretary general of the Council of Islamic Organisation, a group that vies for influence against the government-backed National Muslims Council of Tanzania.
Though Ponda is not known to have any links to Uamsho, the protesters also demonstrated against Hadi's disappearance.
Lieutenant Colonel Issaac Zida, the operational commander of the elite presidential guard, announced on radio that he was taking power.
Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby downplayed any disconnect with the White House and said U.S. officials were constantly reviewing Syria options
Kiir will be accompanied on his visit by a number of South Sudanese government ministers and officials.
Announcement follows unprecedented talks between Myanmar’s military, political leaders, major opposition parties
Tension has run high across the occupied West Bank since the Wednesday shooting of an extremist Jewish rabbi in Jerusalem
A perforation made in a subterranean water source during mining activities seemed to have caused the flooding
Al-Ahram said Egyptian authorities asked Moussa Ibrahim to leave the country at the request of the Libyan government of Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni
A fire broke out at France's public radio headquarters in Paris, forcing live programmes off the air as staff evacuated the vast Paris complex where major building work has been underway
Rula Ghani, spouse of Afghanistan's new president Ashraf Ghani, have already critised some Islamic norms welcomed by Afghan society.
At least 300 ISIL militants were killed and scores of vehicles captured in clashes
South Sudan has been shaken by violence since last December, when Kiir accused sacked vice president Riek Machar of leading a failed coup attempt against his regime.
Erekat's statement came during a meeting with foreign officials in the West Bank city of Jericho
Catalan head Artur Mas plans to hold the Nov. 9 ballot, marshalled by volunteers, in place of a non-binding referendum on independence declared illegal by the Constitutional Court.
Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani's comments show how the threat posed by ISIL has pushed some Shi'ites and Sunnis to overcome their sectarian differences and face a common enemy
The fresh violence comes amid rising tension in the holy city after Israel closed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound
The absence of the three Muslim leaders means that only the majority Orthodox Christian countries will be represented