Nairobi, Oct 4 — A church was torched and a protester shot at in Kenya’s coastal city of Mombasa Friday in the wake of the killing of an influential Muslim cleric, Sheikh Ibrahim Rogo, and three others the previous day.
Muslim youths set ablaze a Salvation Army church in Majengo, Mombasa, to protest the killing of Sheikh Rogo, an ally of slain controversial cleric Aboud Rogo, who was murdered in August last year, Xinhua reported.
Some protesters were injured and rushed to hospital as the police struggled to disperse the youths in Majengo area, a stronghold of Muslims.
Rogo and three others were killed by unknown gunmen Thursday night when their vehicle was sprayed with bullets.
Tension has been building up since early Friday amid heavy police presence around the Musa mosque, where the slain preacher delivered controversial ceremonies.
“One person was shot and has been rushed to the hospital as the youths engage the police in running battles in Majengo area. I saw one of the youth armed with an AK 47 rifle,” a Xinhua reporter at the scene said.
Tension remains high in Mombasa with fears of retaliation from suspected Al Shabaab sympathisers.
The killing of Aboud Rogo Aug 27, 2012, sparked similar riots in the coastal city, leading to the death of at least five people, among them four Kenyan police officers, and massive destruction of properties and churches.
At least eight churches were burned during violent demonstrations.
Rogo was accused by the US and the UN of supporting Al Qaeda-linked militants in Somalia, forcing the UN Security Council to impose a travel ban and asset freeze on him.
Mombasa, the country’s second largest city and a major tourist spot, is one of various cities targeted by a series of grenade attacks and abduction of foreigners in recent months.
The East African nation’s coastal towns are the backbone of the country’s thriving tourism industry, which have been hit by the fear of terror attacks and the kidnapping of foreigners by Somali pirates from resorts near the border with Somalia.
The heightened security follows a major terrorism alert that was issued by the police last month after intelligence reports indicate that the Al Shabaab may be planning an attack.