Africa

Ibrahim 'Rogo' Omar: Kenyan cleric shot dead in Mombasa

  • 4 October 2013
  • From the section Africa

A Muslim cleric has been shot dead in the Kenyan port of Mombasa, amid high tensions between the Muslim community and the security forces.

Ibrahim "Rogo" Omar and three other people were shot as they drove home on Thursday night after preaching.

The killing is similar to that of Aboud Rogo Mohammed last year, which sparked days of rioting by Muslims.

It comes two weeks after the attack on a Kenyan shopping centre, which killed at least 67 people.

Somali Islamist group al-Shabab, which is part of al-Qaeda, said its militants stormed the mall in Kenya's capital Nairobi in retaliation for Kenya's military involvement in Somalia.

'Died on the spot'

Mr Rogo was alleged to have links with al-Shabab and some Muslims accused the Kenyan security forces of killing him - an allegation they strongly denied.

Mr Omar is seen as the successor to Mr Rogo, as he preached at the same mosque - and after his death Mr Omar was given the nickname Rogo.

Correspondents say the Masjid Musa Mosque is known to attract some radical followers.

Muslim cleric Abubaker Shariff Ahmed, known as Makaburi, said the police were behind these killings.

"The police are killing people while saying it is a war against terrorism, this is a war against Islam," AFP quotes him as saying at the scene of the crashed car.

Makaburi has been sanctioned by the UN Security Council for being "a leading facilitator and recruiter of young Kenyan Muslims for violent militant activity in Somalia".

The police in Mombasa denied involvement in Mr Omar's killing.

"The police have nothing to do with the shooting. That's not how we operate," Reuters news agency quoted Robert Kitur, Mombasa County police commander, as saying.

Salim Abdi was the only survivor of the attack on the car.

"There were gunshots and the vehicle veered off the road, I don't know how I walked out of the vehicle alive," AFP quotes Mr Abdi as saying.

"All four others I was with in the vehicle died on the spot."

Windows of the vehicle were shattered and the doors riddled with bullet holes, AFP reports.

It smashed into the verge off the main coastal road north of Mombasa, not far from where Mr Rogo was shot dead in his vehicle in August 2012.

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