Four dead in Kenya riots after cleric's death

The killing triggered riots in the city, with protesters accusing police of having killed the firebrand cleric.

Four dead in Kenya riots after cleric's death

World Bulletin / News Desk

Four people were killed on Friday when supporters of a slain Muslim cleric clashed with riot police in Kenya's main port city of Mombasa, the Kenya Red Cross said.

Sheikh Ibrahim Ismael Rogo and three others were shot dead while driving home on Thursday after preaching at a mosque that has in the past been linked to Somalia's Al-Shabaab group.

The killing triggered riots in the city, with protesters accusing police of having killed the firebrand cleric.

At least 34 people were arrested following the riots, which paralyzed business in the coastal city. Several shops and vehicles were destroyed and a number of schools remained closed.

Local Muslim leaders, including Sheikh Juma Ngao and Muslim for Human Rights (MUHURI) Executive Director Khalid Hussein, condemned the killings, saying they were tantamount to "extrajudicial executions."

"We demand thorough investigations into this incident, which threatens to disrupt peace in Mombasa," Sheikh Ngao told Anadolu Agency on Friday.

Sheikh Ngao, who serves as chairman of the Kenya Muslim National Advisory Council, said Muslim leaders were planning to petition the government to address the matter "by conducting thorough investigations and stopping the killing of Muslim religious leaders over claims of links with terrorist activities."

MUHURI's Khalid Hussein, meanwhile, said leaders of the Muslim community "cannot allow serious affronts to human rights to go [unchallenged]."

"We must value human life and stop extrajudicial killings," he told AA.

Salim Aboud, who survived the attack, told AA that the hail of bullets shot into their car had missed him "miraculously."

"I was on the right side of the car and the gunmen also shot from the right, but I leaned back on the seat and the bullets whizzed by," he said.

Mombasa Police Chief Robert Kitur told AA that the killings were being looked into, adding that it was unfair to "point fingers" before police had concluded their investigations.

"We cannot condone lawlessness by rioters. They went and interfered with the crime scene, even carrying away the bodies before the police could secure it," Kitur told AA.

The four victims were buried today at dawn at the Tudor Muslim Cemetery.

The murders came two weeks after a deadly attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall, in which at least 67 people were killed.

Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack, which it says was carried out in retaliation for Kenyan military involvement in Somalia.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 05 Ekim 2013, 09:53