Nairobi. Muslim youths, angry about a police raid on a mosque in Mombasa in which two people died and more than 100 were arrested, have clashed with police for a second day.
Police fired tear-gas and rubber bullets on Monday at protesters, who were hurling rocks and shouting “release our brothers” in reference to the people arrested after violence in the same area the day before.
“We received information that there was a jihad convention in the mosque and that’s when we moved in,” said local police chief Robert Kitur.
The men in the mosque then “turned violent and attacked our officers”.
Two protesters were killed during Sunday’s violence, two medical sources at a local hospital told Reuters news agency. A policeman was also critically wounded, a police source said.
Kenyan police stormed the Masjid Mussa in the city’s Majengo neighbourhood on Sunday after information that Muslim youths were being influenced by imams who supported al-Shabab, an armed group based in Somalia.
The mosque has been at the heart of al-Shabab’s attempts to radicalise disillusioned young Kenyan Muslims over the past couple of years, security sources told Reuters.
Aboud Rogo, one of the mosque’s best-known imams who was killed in 2012, had been accused by United Nations investigators of obtaining funds and recruits for al-Shabab, while Kenyan authorities charged him with terrorism-related offences. The US had also frozen Rogo’s assets.
Kenya has been dismantling recruitment networks among its Muslim minority. The country is still reeling from a September raid by Somali armed fighters on a Nairobi shopping mall where at least 67 people were killed.
Security sources said the authorities are weighing the closure of the mosque.