Mosque raids provoke clashes in Kenya's Mombasa port

Shuttering the mosques - now five in total - has provoked an outcry from Muslim youths, who have demanded access to them for prayer.

Mosque raids provoke clashes in Kenya's Mombasa port

World Bulletin/News Desk

Armed police patrolled streets in the Kenyan port city of Mombasa on Friday and many businesses were shut after clashes broke out with Muslim youths following a raid on a mosque.

Officers fired warning shots on Thursday night as about 20 men tried to force their way into the Swafaa mosque, which had been shut down the day before after explosives were seized there.

Mombasa police commander Robert Kitur said 13 people were arrested in the clashes.

Police have conducted multiple raids in Mombasa in recent months to try to break up alleged militant networks it blames for attacks in the capital Nairobi and along its Indian Ocean coast which it says are inspired by al Shabaab.

"The mosques remain crime scenes and anyone trying to access risks being shot," Kitur said.

Dozens of armed police patrolled Kisauni and Majengo areas and pitched camp at the closed mosques as businesses around the areas remained closed on Friday fearing unrest during noon prayers.

Shuttering the mosques - now five in total - has provoked an outcry from Muslim youths, who have demanded access to them for prayer.

"They cannot stop us from praying especially this Friday. We will go in there, whether they like it or not. Let them shoot us if they like," a youth who identified himself as Osama, told Reuters near Swafaa mosque.

Last Mod: 21 Kasım 2014, 12:26
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