Saudi cleric killed in rural Guinea after preaching

By REUTERS
January 19, 2018 16:23
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CONAKRY - A Saudi Arabian Islamic preacher was killed in eastern Guinea after proselytizing to hunting communities in a remote region near the Mali border, police and lawyers said on Friday.

The preacher's death in the village of Kantedou Balandou on Tuesday was followed by the fatal stabbing on Wednesday of the head of a group of hunters, which authorities said was likely to have been a revenge killing.

It was not yet clear who was responsible for the deaths.

But they shed some light on the breadth of Saudi ambitions to spread conservative Salafist Islam in rural West Africa, and the sometimes violent opposition they face from people practicing traditional religions.

"I can confirm that a Saudi preacher was shot dead on Tuesday," said police spokesman Boubacar Kasse. "Initial information tells us that the victim was taken after his preaching. The day after this incident, a young local man stabbed the chief of the traditional hunters," he said.

Authorities declined to release the identity of the dead. The Saudi embassy in Conakry did not respond to a request for comment.

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