Ten people were arrested as Muslim youth engaged police in running battles in Kisauni, Mombasa County on Friday.
Two passers-by were stabbed and seriously injured in the violence that rocked the area after the afternoon prayers. Militant youth sources claimed police stormed the mosque while worshippers were having lunch and without provocation, but police said they moved after being fired upon from several directions inside the mosque.
Another group of youth ran and hid inside Masjid Tawba Mosque which was immediately surrounded by police officers who, however, did not storm it.
The rowdy youth in Kisauni had apparently shifted from Masjid Musa Mosque in Majengo after a peaceful afternoon prayer session at the controversial mosque which was also guarded by heavily armed police officers.
The storming of the mosque sparked protests by youths who barricaded the streets with burning tyres and shut down Mombasa’s downtown for hours. A worshipper, Mr Masoud Ali, said they were happy to attend the prayers without any confrontation with the police.
“We were tense when we came for prayers. Our fear was that the policemen could provoke us, but we are happy they respected us and stayed away,” he said.
Mombasa County Commissioner Nelson Marwa went for a security meeting on saturday. County commissioner Nelson Marwa has asked Muslim organisations to stop fights among themselves and counter youth radicalisation and extremism.
They should stop that,” Marwa said. He said security is not a matter of public relations and the government will never turn its back to terrorism activities. Marwa said they will not negotiate with any person whose interest is to breach the country’s security. Nyali MP Awiti Bolo said Mombasa might lose investors if the unrest continues to rock the region.
He asked the leaders to preach peace and work together to resolve the problems. They were speaking at Pride Inn Hotel in Mombasa during a meeting with religious leaders.
A radical Muslim group is planning to hold a convention on teachings on jihad at the controversial Musa Mosque in Mombasa this Sunday. The move has sparked fears of renewed clashes with security forces and moderate Muslims. Authorities in Mombasa said that they were aware of the planned meeting and would not allow it to take place.
“We are aware of the planned meeting but there is no way we can allow such a meeting to take place,” Nelson Marwa, the county commissioner, that security apparatus was fully prepared to deal with the threat and that they were narrowing down on the convenors of the meeting. “They should get necessary clearance from the police first,” Marwa said
Police in Diani Town, Â Kwale County are holding a wanted terror suspect believed to be behind two grenade incidents in the area early this year. Police claim the suspect Seif Setu alias Nowe is trained with Al Qaida linked militants in Somalia.
One of the grenades linked to him was hurled at Tandoori discotheque on New Year Day injuring ten revellers while police say he threw a second one to police on patrol at Kona ya Musa area in Diani mid January, although it did not explode.
Ekakoro claimed that apart from the two grenade incidents, Seif is also accused of attempted murder after he shot at his father-in-law last year who luckily did not die.