Mombasa – One person was killed and two churches were looted in Kenya’s port of Mombasa on Monday, after the killing of a radical cleric linked to Somalia’s al-Qaeda allied Shabaab, officials and witnesses said.
“One person has been killed, he was slashed to death during the protests,” said regional police chief Aggrey Adoli.
An AFP reporter, who saw the body of a dead protester, said two churches were also looted by rioters, angry after cleric Aboud Rogo Mohammed was shot by an unknown attacker. Thousands of angry protesters gathered following Mohammed’s killing, blocking off streets around the mosque where he had often preached, setting fire to vehicles and chanting slogans in his support.
“There is chaos in town now, and our officers are on the ground dispersing the rioters to maintain peace,” said Adoli. “They are demonstrating against the killing of Aboud Rogo, who was shot by unknown people.”
Mombasa, Kenya’s main port, is also a popular tourist destination.
“The whole city is on fire, there are looters in the streets, cars have been damaged, some have been burnt,” said Francis Auma, from the local organisation Muslims for Human Rights. An imam in the mosque shouted through the speaker ‘blood for blood’, and immediately youths started stoning cars”, said witness Dennis Odhiambo, whose car was damaged, and was forced to flee into a police station for safety.
Witnesses said that Mohammed’s car was riddled with bullets, and a photograph released by his supporters showed his bloody corpse slumped behind the wheel of his vehicle.