Assassinations of Muslim clerics in Kenya "boosting al Shabaab"

October 5, 2013 19:59

MOMBASA - The killings of popular Muslim clerics in Kenya's port city of Mombasa is strengthening support for Somali militants who massacred at least 67 people in a Nairobi shopping mall two weeks ago, a prominent Islamist said on Saturday.

The apparent assassination of Sheikh Ibrahim Omar on Thursday night raised religious tensions in Kenya's commercial and tourism hub.

Young Muslims, streaming out of a mosque where Omar had preached, torched a church, burned tires and fought the police on Friday. Four people were killed during the day-long riots.

Abubakar Shariff, whom the UN and the US accuse of funding al Shabaab, said Omar's killing would boost recruitment and support for the Somali group among Kenyan Muslims convinced the cleric was gunned down by Kenyan security agencies.

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