MOMBASA – A Kenyan Muslim has been killed and more than 100 people arrested after police forces stormed a mosque in Mombasa over alleged radicalization of worshippers, sparking Muslims outrage over the unprecedented accident.
“They attacked our mosque, but they're not going to kill our spirit,” one youth shouted from behind a wall in the mosque's compound, Reuters reported on Sunday, February 2.
“Jihad is the way to go.”
On Sunday, the Kenyan police raided Musa mosque in Mombasa's Majengo as part of its claimed war on radicalization in the east African country.
Launching their armed attack, security forces claimed that Al-Shabab flag has been hoisted by worshippers at the mosque.
The raid followed earlier police reports claiming that Musa mosque was being exploited for radicalizing and recruiting Muslim youth for Al-Shabab group.
“We found them engaging in radicalization and training of youths,” said Robert Kitur, local police chief.
Mosque occupation by police forces has sparked outrage among Muslims who took to the surrounding streets to protest the raid.
Repressing protests, Police fired teargases and live rounds to disperse crowds who threw stones back.
“They turned violent and attacked our officers but we have managed to arrest over 100 who will be charged tomorrow,” local police chief told Agence France Presse (AFP).
Meanwhile, eyewitnesses said that police shoot and killed one person at the protest outside Masjid Musa where crowds shouted Allahu Akbar, According to Al-Jazeera.
The clashes have also left two police officers with serious injuries, according to the local police chief.
Moved by Sunday's crackdown on Musa mosque, Kenya right activists have condemned the attacks blaming the police after failing to avoid bloodshed.
Khalid Hussein, executive director of Haki Africa, a Mombasa-based rights group said that there was no need for “excessive” force against Muslim worshippers.
Moreover, he has vehemently denounced the eruption of violence inside a worshipping house by security forces.
Yet, security officials insist that the Musa mosque was a potential extremism zone.
“This was not a normal day of prayers,” said Henry Ondieki, the Mombasa chief of criminal investigations.
“Their intention was clear: they were planning to recruit and attack innocent Kenyan civilians.”
Kenya Muslims have been sensing eradication of their rights following Wetgate mall attack in which more than 60 people were killed which was claimed by Somalia's militant al Shabaab group.
The mall attack was immediately condemned by the Supreme council of Kenya Muslims, which confirmed its support to the security and government organs during the difficult time that Kenya faces.
Kenya Muslims have also organized a campaign to donate blood in solidarity with victims of Al-Shabaab rampage in the Westgate mall.
Lining to give blood, Muslims confirmed that those “barbaric acts” have nothing to do with the teachings of Islam and the noble Qur’an.
Yet, in the first anti-Muslim backlash after Westgate mall attack, a gunman in Kenya has shot dead four people including a popular Muslim scholar in the port city of Mombasa.
Last November, American and Kenyan human rights groups have released a report accusing Kenyan counter-terrorism officers of carrying out extra-judicial killings, abuses and torture for Muslims in the east African country under allegations of being members of al-Shabaab group.
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