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Gunmen kill Kenyan Muslim cleric

04 October 2013, 07:35

Mombasa - Gunmen in Kenya killed four people including a Muslim cleric linked to a radical mosque in the port city of Mombasa in a drive-by shooting, police said on Friday.

Sheikh Ibrahim Ismail was viewed as the successor to Aboud Rogo Mohammed, a controversial preacher accused of links to Somalia's Shabaab insurgents, who was himself assassinated in a drive-by shooting in August 2012.

Rogo's killing sparked days of deadly rioting in Mombasa, with protestors accusing security forces of carrying out the killing, claims they denied.

"They were five people in a vehicle when it was sprayed with bullets," a senior police officer said from the scene, adding that one passenger survived. The attack took place late Thursday.

An AFP reporter at the scene said the car, the windows smashed and the doors riddled with bullet holes, had veered off the main coastal highway running north out of Mombasa.

Some bullet casings lay scattered around the car, suggesting that shots had been fired after the vehicle had stopped, while Ismail's bloodied body lay slumped on the backseat with his companions.

Like Rogo, Ismail preached at Mombasa's Masjid Musa mosque, which attracts some radical followers.

Rogo was on US and UN sanctions lists for allegedly supporting the al-Qaeda linked Shabaab, including through recruitment and fundraising.

Last month the Shabaab launched a deadly assault on an upmarket Nairobi shopping mall, killing at least 67 people in a four-day bloodbath.

The Islamists have since threatened to carry out further attacks if Kenya does not pull its troops out of Somalia.




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