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129 charged as Shebab members after mosque raid

03 February 2014, 20:00

Mombasa - More than 100 people arrested after deadly rioting following a police raid on a mosque were charged Monday for being members of Somalia's Al-Qaeda linked Shebab insurgents.

"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".

Judge James Ombura ordered the 129 men be held in prison until Friday to allow prosecutors to finish their investigations, when the accused are expected to enter a plea.

Four of those charged were not in court as they were receiving treatment for injuries sustained during Sunday's clashes, in which three people, including a police officer, died.

Kenyan police have in the past linked the Musa mosque to recruitment for the Shebab.

The Shebab claimed the September 2013 attack on Nairobi's Westgate mall, in which at least 67 people were killed.

Shebab sympathisers and sleeper cells have been blamed for a series of deadly but much smaller attacks over the past two years in Kenya.

Security sources said the authorities are weighing the closure of the mosque.




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