Kenyan forces patrol riot-hit city

2012-08-31 13:48
Kenyan paramilitary police walk past burning tyres in Mombasa during the second day of clashes after the killing of an extremist cleric linked to al-Qaeda-allied Shebaab militants. (AFP)

Kenyan paramilitary police walk past burning tyres in Mombasa during the second day of clashes after the killing of an extremist cleric linked to al-Qaeda-allied Shebaab militants. (AFP)

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Mombasa - Kenyan security forces patrolled the riot-hit streets of Mombasa on Friday as Muslims held the main weekly prayers, with streets calm but police reporting they were ready "for anything".

Authorities insist security has been restored after days of deadly protests broke out following the assassination of radical Muslim cleric Aboud Rogo Mohammed on Monday.

"Everything is under control. We have not had any reports of planned protests after the prayers, but we are prepared for anything," said regional police chief Aggrey Adoli.

For two days, angry youths fought running battles with police, looting churches and torching cars, while two grenades were hurled at police trucks in two separate attacks, killing three officers and wounding over a dozen.

Blocked off

"We have not had any incidences since Wednesday night," said Red Cross official Sadik Kakai.

Anti-riot police on Friday had blocked off several areas to vehicles, residents said.

"Streets in the Majengo area have been cut off.... There is some kind of curfew going on. There are people who spent the whole of Thursday indoors," said Juma Kijipwe, a trader who owns a phone shop.

Foreign embassies - including those of Australia, Britain, France and the United States - have issued travel warnings for Mombasa, where several large tourist resorts are based.

The murdered cleric - popularly known as Rogo - was on US and UN sanctions lists for allegedly supporting neighbouring Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab militants.

Rogo had fiercely opposed Kenya's invasion of southern Somalia last year to attack Shebaab bases. The United States and United Nations had accused him of recruiting and fundraising for the extremist insurgents.

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