World Bulletin / News Desk
Sheikh Ibrahim Omar's death ignited religious tensions in the commercial and tourism hub in east Africa's largest economy, two weeks after Islamist militants killed at least 67 people in a raid onNairobi's Westgate shopping mall.
Omar was found dead in a car hit by more than a dozen bullets, television images showed.
Youths torched a Salvation Army church and temporarily blocked the main road into the city, a Reuters witness said.
Kenyan police in riot gear fired gunshots and teargas to break up the crowd.
The worst of the running battles with police took place in Mombasa's downtrodden Saba Saba neighbourhood, where traders shuttered their shops and residents fled for safety.
The imam was shot in Mombasa's outskirts on the main road to the resort town of Malindi, a few hundred metres (yards) from where another firebrand cleric, Aboud Rogo, was shot dead in his vehicle in August 2012 in a strikingly similar attack.
Rogo's death last year unleashed deadly riots in Mombasa's run-down neighbourhoods where he commanded a loyal support base.
Kitur dismissed the accusation and said officers would stop any protests after Friday prayers getting out of control. "The police have nothing to do with the shooting. That's not how we operate," he told reporters.
"They (authorities) have panicked because of their own laxity which killed Kenyans at Westgate. Now they are trying to save face by sacrificing innocent Muslims," said Hatib Suleiman, 21, who prays atOmar's Masjid Mussa mosque.
"We are not going to take this lightly."
Al-Amin Kimathi, chairman of the Muslim Human Rights Forum, said Omar had been a student of Rogo and had publicly espoused the hardline ideological beliefs of his former mentor.Last Mod: 04 Ekim 2013, 15:46