Mombasa - Rioters set fire to a protestant church in Kenya's
port city of Mombasa on Friday, in furious battles with the police sparked by
the killing of a Muslim cleric, police said.
"They have burnt the Salvation Army church and we are
now trying to repulse them with tear gas," a senior police officer said.
Witnesses said one protestor was shot and wounded, as
paramilitary police moved in to Mombasa's Majengo district.
"He was shot in the stomach and has been taken to a
clinic... he is bleeding profusely and we just pray for him," said Salim
Abdalla, a witness.
It was not clear who fired the shot.
Riots were sparked after unknown gunmen killed four people
including a popular Muslim preacher in a drive-by shooting late on Thursday.
Slain cleric 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 similar
drive-by shooting in August 2012.
Rogo's killing sparked days of deadly rioting in Mombasa.
Like in the case of Rogo, radical preachers have said the
killing of Ismail was an "execution" by the police, claims the force
Thick smoke apparently from burning tyres rose around
Mombasa's Masjid Musa mosque - where Ismail used to preach - while police fired
tear gas and youths hurled stones back in return.
An AFP reporter said fire engines were tackling the blaze at
The killing of the cleric follows an attack last month by
the Shebab, who 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 "rivers of
blood" would flow in fresh attacks if Kenya does not pull its troops out