MOMBASA - The killing of a Muslim imam accused by the United States of terror links triggered deadly riots in Kenya's main port city of Mombasa on Monday, August 27.
"There is chaos in town now, and our officers are on the ground dispersing the rioters to maintain peace," regional police chief Aggrey Adoli told Agence France-Presse (AFP).
"They are demonstrating against the killing of Aboud Rogo, who was shot by unknown people."
Imam Aboud Rogo Mohammed was shot dead Monday by unknown gunmen while driving his wife to hospital in Mombasa.
"A car behind us aimed at my husband, they shot him on the right side," said his widow Haniya Said, screaming in grief.
"He died as we rushed him to hospital. Why have they killed my dear husband?"
The news of the imam's death triggered deadly riots across the city, leaving one person dead.
"One person has been killed, he was slashed to death during the protests," regional police chief Aggrey Adoli told Agence France-Presse (AFP).
Cars were set on fire and at least four churches were attacked.
"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 organization Muslims for Human Rights.
Kenyan police fired rubber bullets and teargas to disperse the protestors in Mombasa, Kenya's main port city and a popular tourist destination.
Rogo is accused by Washington of advocating radicalization and recruitment for the militant Somali group Al-Shabaab, which has been fighting to unseat the UN-backed transitional government.
The United Nations Security Council placed a travel ban and asset freeze on the imam in July, saying he had provided "financial, material, logistical or technical support to Al-Shabaab".
Angry protestors accused the Kenyan police of masterminding the imam's killing.
"These are police who have killed our innocent Sheikh. They have shot him dead, Suleiman Athman, a young Muslim protestor, told Reuters.
They imposed on him terrorism charges, arrested and charged him, now they fear the court will release him, and have decided to end his life.
"It's an attack on Muslims, and we will not take it lightly."
The imam was arrested by Kenyan police in January after seizing arms with him, but he was later released on bail.
Rogo was previously acquitted of the 2002 bombing of an Israeli-owned hotel near Mombasa which killed 15 people.
The local Muslim Human Rights Forum condemned the imam's killing, saying it "mirrors" the recent killings or disappearance of others "on the country's terrorism watch list".
The Muslim Youth Center (MYC) vowed to pursue the path of the slain imam.
"We are on the right track when our leaders get shahadah (martyrdom)," MYC leader Sheikh Ahmad Iman Ali said in a message on Twitter.
"He will remain in our hearts forever.
There are nearly ten million Muslims in Kenya, which has a population of 36 million.Muslims make up nearly 98 percent of the communities of the North Eastern Province.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net