Kenya police patrol Mombasa after riots

2013-10-05 20:21

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Mombasa - Police and security forces patrolled the streets of Mombasa on Saturday, a day after Kenya's port city was rocked by deadly riots sparked by the assassination of a Muslim cleric.

After furious street battles on Friday in which four protestors died - three from stab wounds and one shot - and a church was torched, the city was largely quiet overnight and remained so Saturday, police said.

"I have just been around to monitor the situation... and can report that calm has returned everywhere," said regional police chief Robert Kitur.

On Friday, protesters hurled stones and armed paramilitary police fired tear gas near a mosque, some of whose leaders have been accused of links to Somalia's Islamist al-Shabaab, insurgents who massacred 67 people in Nairobi's Westgate shopping mall last month.

Protests began on Friday after midday Muslim prayers, with people angry over the killing by unknown gunmen of a popular preacher and his three companions in a drive-by shooting on Thursday night.

The assassination mirrored the murder of another extremist cleric last year that provoked days of deadly riots.

Slain cleric Sheikh Ibrahim Ismail was viewed as the successor to Aboud Rogo Mohammed, a controversial preacher on US and UN sanctions lists for allegedly supporting the al-Shabaab, who was shot dead in August 2012.

Mombasa is Kenya's main port and a major tourist hub, popular with visitors coming to enjoy the white sand beaches on the Indian Ocean coastline.

Police in riot gear were out in force on Saturday in flashpoint areas that saw some of the heaviest fighting on Friday, but otherwise traffic and businesses had returned to normal.

Like in the case of Rogo, radical preachers have said the killing of Ismail was an "execution" by the police, which denied the claim.

"We are not involved in anyway with the killings," Kitur said. "Anyone with evidence of police involvement in that killing should come and see me in person."

The killing of Ismail follows attacks last month by the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab, who launched a deadly assault on an upmarket Nairobi shopping mall in a four-day bloodbath.

The Islamists have since threatened "rivers of blood" would flow in fresh attacks if Kenya does not pull its troops out of Somalia.

Meanwhile foreign special forces staged a nighttime sea and air attack on a key al-Shabaab base in southern Somalia, the insurgents said on Saturday, claiming the assault had failed.

Islamist commanders in the port of Barawe said commandos - presumed to be from a Western nation - rappelled from a helicopter as they tried to storm a house belonging to a senior al-Shabaab leader, as others stormed the beach by boat.

"Our mujahedeen fighters inside the house fought back and the cowards ran away," Mohamed Abu Suleiman told AFP, the al-Shabaab commander in the small seaside town.

Read more on:    al-shabaab  |  kenya  |  somalia  |  kenya mall attack

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.