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Shabaab members arrested in Kenya

03 February 2014, 20:33

Mombasa - More than 100 people (have been) arrested after deadly rioting following a police raid on a Kenyan mosque were charged on Monday for being members of Somalia's al-Qaeda linked Shabaab insurgents.

"We received information that there was a jihad convention in the mosque and that's when we moved in," said local police chief Robert Kitur.

The men in the mosque then "turned violent and attacked our officers".

Judge James Ombura ordered the 129 men be held in prison until Friday to allow prosecutors to finish their investigations, when the accused are expected to enter a plea.

Four of those charged were not in court as they were receiving treatment for injuries sustained during Sunday's clashes, in which three people, including a police officer, died.

Kenyan police have in the past linked the Musa mosque to recruitment for the Shabaab.

The Shabaab claimed the September 2013 attack on Nairobi's Westgate mall, in which at least 67 people were killed.

Shabaab sympathisers and sleeper cells have been blamed for a series of deadly but much smaller attacks over the past two years in Kenya.

Security sources said the authorities are weighing the closure of the mosque.



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