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Kenya riots rage a day after killing of radical cleric

Hundreds of angry youth throwing stones and damaging cars moved towards the centre of Mombasa, after the killing of a radical cleric

Protesting Muslim youths stand next to burning tires in Mombasa
Image Credit: AP
Protesting Muslim youths stand next to burning tires in Mombasa, Kenya on August 27, 2012 after Aboud Rogo, a Muslim cleric facing terror-related charges, was shot dead.
Gulf News

Mombasa, Kenya: Rioters clashed with police in Kenya’s port city of Mombasa for a second day on Tuesday, after the killing of a radical cleric linked to Al Qaida allied militants, witnesses said.

Hundreds of angry youth throwing stones, damaging cars and chanting slogans moved towards the centre of Mombasa, a popular tourist city, an AFP reporter witnessed.

“The riots have started again,” said Khalid Hussain of Muslims for Human Rights, a local organisation.

Preacher Aboud Rogo Mohammed, shot dead on Monday by “unknown people” according to the police, was on US and UN sanctions lists for allegedly supporting Somalia’s extremist Al Shabab insurgents.

Shortly after his death furious protests erupted, with one person on Monday hacked to death, cars set on fire and several churches looted.

The cleric — popularly known as Rogo — was the spiritual leader of the Muslim Youth Centre (MYC), a group viewed as a close ally of the extremist Al Shabab.

The Islamist group blamed the authorities for the murder of the preacher, but police have dismissed the claim and say they are hunting the killers.

“Our beloved Shaikh Aboud Rogo... was murdered by the kuffar [unbeliever] as part of Kenya’s policy of extra-judicial killings against prominent Muslim activists,” the MYC said in a statement on Tuesday.

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 Al Shabab.

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 Shabab”.

The MYC condemned the killing as an “act of barbarity” and warned that they “hold the Kenyan authorities responsible for this targeted assassination”.