Deadly clashes after police raid Kenya mosque

At least one killed and more than 100 arrested after police storm Mombasa mosque where al-Shabab flag was raised.

Last updated: 02 Feb 2014 19:38
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Police said they raided the mosque acting on intelligence that a meeting to recruit fighters was going on [Al Jazeera]

At least one person has been killed and two security officers seriously injured in clashes in the Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa after police stormed a mosque.

Police raided the Musa mosque on Sunday in the Majengo district after worshippers raised al-Shabab flag and defied a police warning not to meet.

Police said they raided the mosque acting on intelligence that a meeting to recruit fighters was going on.

Police later occupied the mosque and its precincts, local police chief Robert Kitur told AFP news agency.

"They turned violent and attacked our officers but we have managed to arrest over 100 who will be charged tomorrow," he said without giving further details.

A reporter at the scene saw police shoot and kill one person as they tried to disperse a growing crowd screaming "Allahu Akbar" or "God is Great" outside the mosque, which has been the recent site of violent confrontations between young Muslims and police.

Police criticised

Two officers were stabbed in the stomach and were being treated at the hospital, Kitur said.

The police fired tear-gas and live rounds over the heads of taunting crowds, who hurled stones back, Reuters news agency reported.

Henry Ondieki, the Mombasa chief of criminal investigations, backed the the police, saying: "This was not a normal day of prayers."

"Their intention was clear: they were planning to recruit and attack innocent Kenyan civilians."

But the head of a Mombasa-based rights group criticised the police action.

"There was no need for excessive force and the police should have restrained themselves to avoid bloodshed,'' said Khalid Hussein, executive director of Haki Africa.

He said that it came the day after they asked police to avoid violence and talk to the youth.

"We condemn strongly the move by the police to cause violence inside a place of worship," Hussein told AP.


Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
More than 400 gaming dens operate on native lands, but critics say social ills and inequality stack the deck.
The Palestinian president is expected to address the UN with a new proposal for the creation of a Palestinian state.
Nearly 1,200 aboriginal females have been killed or disappeared over 30 years with little justice served, critics say.
Ethnic violence has wracked China's restive Xinjiang region, leading to a tight government clampdown.
Malay artists revitalise the art of puppeteering by fusing tradition with modern characters such as Darth Vader.