Riots broke out in Mombasa last night after the assassination of the ‘radical’ cleric Aboud Rogo Mohammed who was allegedly linked to Somalia’s Al-Qa’ida-allied Shebab militants. Cars have been set on fire and two churches were looted in Mombasa it is reported.
At least one person was hacked to death as thousands of protesters took to the streets after Aboud Rogo Mohammed wsa shot dead. He had been on US and UN sanction lists for allegedly supporting the Shebab.
Mohammed’s wife Haniya Said reportedly screamed, “A car behind us aimed at my husband, they shot him on the right side,” following the shooting by unknown gunmen.
“He died as we rushed him to hospital. Why have they killed my dear husband?” his widow added, before she and her children were taken to the hospital.
Regional police chief Aggrey Adoli said, “One person has been killed, he was slashed to death during the protests”.
‘CHAOS’ IN MOMBASA
“There is chaos in town now, and our officers are on the ground dispersing the rioters to maintain peace,” added Mr Adoli.
Witnesses said that Mohammed’s car was riddled with bullets, and a photograph released to the media by his supporters showed his body covered in blood and slumped behind the wheel of a car.
MOHAMMED ON US AND UN SANCTIONS LISTS
Mohammed was put on a US sanctions list in July for “engaging in acts that directly or indirectly threaten the peace, security or stability of Somalia”. It was alleged that he was a recruiter
and fundraiser for Al-Shebaab. At the same time the UN Security Council placed a travel ban and asset freeze on Mohammed.
The UN claimed that Mohammed was the, “main ideological leader” of Kenya’s Al Hijra group, also known as the Muslim Youth Centre”, a group believed to be closely allied to Al-Shebaab in Kenya. Mohammed “used the extremist group as a pathway for radicalisation and recruitment of principally Swahili-speaking Africans for carrying out violent militant activity in Somalia”, the UN said.
“INFIDELS WILL PAY FOR HIS DEATH”
MYC leader Sheikh Ahmad Iman Ali posted a message on Twitter which said: “We are on the right track when our leaders get shahadah (martyrdom).” The MYC added, “He will remain in
our hearts forever”.
Another message warned that the “kuffar (infidels) will pay” for his death.
From AFP report:
“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 who was forced to flee into a police station for safety.
The local Muslim Human Rights Forum condemned Mohammed’s assassination, claiming it “mirrors” the recent killings or disappearance of others “on the country’s terrorism watch list”.
Mohammed “repeatedly called for the violent rejection of the Somali peace process”, the US Treasury said, noting he had often advocated the use of violence against both the UN and the African Union force battling the Shebab in Somalia.
He “urged his audiences to travel to Somalia to join Al-Shebab’s fight against the Kenyan government”, the Treasury added.
Kenyan police arrested the preacher in January, seizing firearms, ammunition and detonators, but later released him on bail.
He was previously acquitted of the 2002 bombing of an Israeli-owned hotel near Mombasa which killed 15 people – 12 Kenyans and three Israelis – as well as three suicide bombers.
The cleric is also alleged to have introduced Fazul Abdullah Mohammed – the late head of Al-Qa’ida’s east Africa cell, shot dead last year in Somalia’s war-torn capital Mogadishu – to at least one of the men who helped him carry out the twin US embassy bombings in 1998.
The bombings in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam killed killed 224 people.
Mohammed, born on Kenya’s Lamu island, was aged between 43 and 52, according to different aliases.