Police battle Muslim youth in Mombasa for second day
04 February 2014, 09:11
Mombasa - Police engaged stone- throwing Muslim youth in
streets of Mombasa for the second day on Monday
after two people were killed and dozens injured in the similar chaos the
The confrontation between police armed with rubber bullets and the
youth forced businesses near the Masjid Musa Mosque to shut down as roads
were blocked and cars smashed in the tourism resort city.
The youths had barricaded the streets along the slum and were
stoning vehicles before they were later over powered by the anti-riot
They were demanding the release of their colleagues who
were arrested during fighting after police stormed a meeting in Masjid
Musa Mosque for alleged recruitment for Al- Shabaab, the Somalia-based
group linked to Al-Qaida.
"We will not rest until those who were arrested on Sunday are
released," shouted one of the protesters as police engaged them in
Some 129 radical youths arrested on Sunday were arraigned in court
ion Monday, when they were charged with being connected to the
Al-Shabaab terrorist group.
Senior Resident Magistrate James Wambura ordered the suspects remain
in remand at the for five days to allow the prosecution to complete
investigations into the allegations.
The protests came as Muslim leadership wants police to take stern
action against radicalized youth in Mombasa out to cause chaos in
mosques in the name of Islam.
Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM), an umbrella organization
of Muslims in the country, told a news conference in Nairobi that there
is a scheme by a section of hardened youths to take leadership of all
mosques in the country through violence and use them to agitate for
"We fully support the current imams and leadership of all mosques and
Muslim institutions in Kenya. Changes in structured and functional
Muslim bodies can never be succumbed to the whims and threats of such
groups," SUPKEM Secretary General Adan Wachu said.
He said the Muslims top leadership will not allow the youths to oust
the current leaders of mosques and urged state security to identify the
groups and take action on them.
Wachu who was reacting to Sunday and
Monday's chaos in Mombasa in which two people were killed condemned the
action by the youths which he termed as criminal and uncivil deeds and
added that Islam has a well cultured, mannered and Islamic way of doing
things. "As we call upon the government to take stern action on them but
not to shut down the service at the affected mosque, we call upon all
Muslims to be united against this monster Islam is not terrorism nor is
terrorism Islam," he said.