Salvation Army Center in Kenya Set on Fire After Muslim Cleric is Killed in Mombasa

At least four people were killed as Muslims rioted and set fire to a Christian community centre in Kenya's coastal city of Mombasa, after a radical imam with alleged links to al-Shabaab was shot dead the night before.

Pictured: Residents throw water to put out flames from burning tyres after rioting youths swept through parts of Mombasa / Photo: AP
Police fired tear gas and live rounds as they tried to break up gangs of dozens of young men armed with sticks and throwing stones who roamed parts of the city centre after Friday prayers.

The Foreign Office warned British visitors to "avoid large public demonstrations and crowded areas" following the riots. Shops were shuttered by early afternoon as traffic sped out of the city.

It was the first significant outbreak of violence in Kenya since al-Shabaab terrorists took control of Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall a fortnight ago.

Muslim leaders at the mosque where the dead cleric preached had earlier denied that they helped assemble the team that attacked the mall.

Tourists at beach resorts north of Mombasa lay in the sun apparently unaware of the running battles taking place between police and protestors just a few miles away.

The Salvation Army Worship Centre, a Christian social hall, was partially destroyed in a fire started by the Muslim gangs, who had flooded out of the nearby Musa Mosque at 1pm.

Roads were blocked as youths set fire to rubbish, blocking traffic. Cars were attacked and left with broken windshields. Smoke from tear gas lobbed by riot police drifted through Mombasa's streets, sending commuters trying to find transport home fleeing.

The clashes erupted the day after four people were shot dead in their car as they drove along the main road leading from Mombasa to tourist hotels to its north.

SOURCE: Mike Pflanz
The Telegraph
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