Kenya riots rage a day after killing of radical cleric
By Michael Richard, AFP (email the author)
Posted Tuesday, August 28 2012 at 15:02
Posted Tuesday, August 28 2012 at 15:02
Rioters clashed with police in Kenya's port city of Mombasa for a second day Tuesday, after the killing of an extremist cleric linked to Al-Qaeda-allied militants, witnesses said.
Hundreds of angry youths throwing stones, damaging cars and chanting slogans in support of slain preacher Aboud Rogo Mohammed moved towards the centre of Mombasa, a popular tourist city, an AFP reporter said.
"The riots have started again," said Khalid Hussein of Muslims for Human Rights, a local organisation. Staff in Mombasa's main hospital reported that at least 14 people had been injured in the clashes.
Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab militants meanwhile called on Kenyan Muslims to "take all necessary measures" to protect their religion.
"Muslims must take the matter into their own hands, stand united against the kuffar (unbelievers) and take all necessary measures to protect their religion, their honour, their property and their lives from the enemies of Islam," the Shebab said in a statement.
The cleric, who was shot dead on Monday by "unknown people", according to the police, was on US and UN sanctions lists for allegedly supporting the Shebab, including through recruitment and fundraising.
He was driving with his wife and children when gunmen opened fire on his vehicle, leaving it riddled with bullets. Images released by his supporters showed his bloody corpse slumped behind the wheel.
Shortly after his death furious protests erupted, with one person hacked to death, cars torched, business attacked and five churches looted or set on fire.
Despite the eruption of fresh clashes Tuesday, regional police chief Aggrey Adoli said on the protests were under control.
"A group of youth has been throwing stones here and there, but our officers are there to contain the situation," Adoli said.
The cleric -- popularly known as Rogo -- was the spiritual leader of the Muslim Youth Center (MYC), a group viewed as a close ally of the extremist Shebab.
The Islamist MYC blamed the authorities for the preacher's murder, but police have dismissed the claim and say they are hunting the killers.
"Our beloved Sheikh Aboud Rogo... was murdered by the kuffar (unbelievers) as part of Kenya's policy of extra-judicial killings against prominent Muslim activists," the MYC said Tuesday in a statement.
Rogo was placed on a US sanctions list in July for "engaging in acts that directly or indirectly threaten the peace, security or stability of Somalia", specifically for recruiting and fundraising for the hardline Shebab.
The United Nations Security Council placed a travel ban and asset freeze on him in July, saying he had provided "financial, material, logistical or technical support to Al-Shebab".
The MYC condemned the killing as an "act of barbarity", and warned that they "hold the Kenyan authorities responsible for this targeted assassination."
Police on Tuesday appealed to the public for information on Rogo's killing.
"Investigations are going on to get people who committed the murder," said regional police chief Adoli. "We have not made any arrest so far, but our officers are out looking for them."
Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Monday condemned Rogo's "horrific" murder, adding the government was "committed to bringing whoever was responsible to justice".
Rogo had been accused by the UN of using the MYC group as "a pathway for radicalisation and recruitment of principally Swahili-speaking Africans for carrying out violent militant activity in Somalia".
He "repeatedly called for the violent rejection of the Somali peace process", the US Treasury said, noting he had often advocated the use of violence against both the UN and the African Union force battling the Shebab in Somalia.
The cleric is also alleged to have introduced Fazul Abdullah Mohammed -- the late head of Al-Qaeda's east Africa cell, shot dead last year in Somalia's war-torn capital Mogadishu -- to at least one of the men who helped him carry out the twin US embassy bombings in 1998.
Two policemen feared dead in Kisauni grenade attack
By NATION Reporter
Posted Tuesday, August 28 2012 at 16:43
Sixteen other officers were rushed to hospital after suffering injuries during the latest incident at Mwandoni Tuesday.
Earlier, the youth had set the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) Kisauni on fire and vandalised the parish minister's house.
The unruly mob stole, among other things, at least 100 bibles.
Twelve people were arrested in Mombasa during the confrontation between police and rowdy youth.
Ten were bundled into a police van at Majengo area while two others were taken into custody near Msikiti Musa in the restive town.
Tension in Mombasa as Al-Shabaab suspect Rogo killed
By Nation ReporterDeadly riots broke out in Kenya's main port of Mombasa on Monday after the assassination of a radical cleric linked to Somalia's Al-Qaeda-allied Shebab militants.
Posted Monday, August 27 2012 at 12:38
Posted Monday, August 27 2012 at 12:38
At least one person was hacked to death as thousands of angry protestors took to the streets after Aboud Rogo Mohammed -- who was on US and UN sanction lists for allegedly supporting the Shebab -- was shot dead.
"A car behind us aimed at my husband, they shot him on the right side," said his widow Haniya Said, screaming in grief after the killing by unknown attackers.
"One person has been killed, he was slashed to death during the protests," said regional police chief Aggrey Adoli.
Cars were set on fire and two churches were looted in the city -- Kenya's main port and a key tourist hub -- according to an AFP reporter.
"There is chaos in town now, and our officers are on the ground dispersing the rioters to maintain peace," added Adoli. "They are demonstrating against the killing of Aboud Rogo, who was shot by unknown people."
Witnesses said that Mohammed's car was riddled with bullets, and a photograph released by his supporters showed his bloody corpse slumped behind the wheel of a car.
"He died as we rushed him to hospital. Why have they killed my dear husband?" his widow added, before she and her children were taken to the hospital.
Mohammed was placed on a US sanctions list in July for "engaging in acts that directly or indirectly threaten the peace, security or stability of Somalia", specifically for recruiting and fundraising for the hardline Shebab.
The United Nations Security Council placed a travel ban and asset freeze on the cleric in July, saying he had provided "financial, material, logistical or technical support to Al-Shebab".
He was the "main ideological leader" of Kenya's Al Hijra group, also known as the Muslim Youth Center (MYC), the UN said. The group is viewed as a close ally of the Shebab in Kenya.
Mohammed "used the extremist group as a pathway for radicalisation and recruitment of principally Swahili-speaking Africans for carrying out violent militant activity in Somalia", the UN said.
MYC leader Sheikh Ahmad Iman Ali, in a message posted on Twitter, said: "We are on the right track when our leaders get shahadah (martyrdom)."
"He will remain in our hearts forever," the MYC added, while another message offered the grim warning that the "kuffar (infidels) will pay" for his death.
"The whole city is on fire, there are looters in the streets, cars have been damaged, some have been burnt," said Francis Auma, from the local organisation Muslims for Human Rights.
"An imam in the mosque shouted through the speaker 'blood for blood', and immediately youths started stoning cars," said witness Dennis Odhiambo, whose car was damaged and who was forced to flee into a police station for safety.
The local Muslim Human Rights Forum condemned Mohammed's assassination, claiming it "mirrors" the recent killings or disappearance of others "on the country's terrorism watch list".
Mohammed "repeatedly called for the violent rejection of the Somali peace process", the US Treasury said, noting he had often advocated the use of violence against both the UN and the African Union force battling the Shebab in Somalia.