Tag Archives: Coast

Kenya’s president: massacres aren’t Al Shabab but political opponents

President Uhuru Kenyatta today told surprised Kenyans that the grisly murders of 60 people in recent days – some while watching the World Cup – were not carried out by the terror group Al Shabab, but by local “networks” organized by his political opponents.

Al Shabab claimed credit for a massacre on Sunday of 49 people in the coastal town of Mpeketoni, and for killing at least 10 people on Monday in a small town nearby. Those incidents, in an area hit recently by Al Shabab, bore the hallmarks of the Somalia-based, self-described Islamist group, with masked attackers shouting “Alahu Akbar” and executing civilians who failed to recite Koranic verses.

Yet Mr. Kenyatta, in a televised address, blamed “reckless leaders” for inciting violence against a specific ethnic group, the Kikuyu, who are reportedly the victims of the coastal attacks.  Read more…

Advertisements

Worst since Westgate: New Al Shabab attack stirs Kenyan security doubts

A man observes the remains of destroyed vehicles and buildings in the town of Mpeketoni, about 60 miles from the Somali border on the coast of Kenya Monday. AP

Gunmen belonging to the Somali extremist group Al Shabab killed at least 48 people in a seven-hour rampage through a Kenyan coastal town late Sunday night, leaving many Kenyans wondering whether their government is capable of protecting them from terrorists.  Read more…

Assassination of cleric ‘Makaburi’ puts Kenya on edge

'Living on borrowed time,' Muslim leader in Kenya told AP months before he was shot dead

In this Tuesday Oct. 29, 2013 file photo, Abubakar Shariff Ahmedsits in his office in Mombasa, Kenya. AP Photo/Jason Straziuso, File

Nairobi, KenyaKenya’s most prominent radical Muslim was gunned down Tuesday night near the coastal city of Mombasa amid escalating violence between government security forces and Muslim youths – raising fears of retaliation and further tension.

Abubaker Shariff Ahmed, an avowed jihadist known popularly as Makaburi, which means graveyard in Swahili, was shot dead at 6:30 p.m. outside a prison where he reported for a scheduled court appearance. Mr. Ahmed is the sixth and highest-profile Muslim cleric to be killed in suspicious circumstances on Kenya’s coast in the past few years. He was under sanctions from the UN Security Council that included a travel ban and an asset freeze for allegedly supporting terrorism.

The killing of Ahmed comes as the government has moved to curb or even preempt terrorism through round-ups and crackdowns. It adds to what seems a circular or “tit-for-tat” reaction in recent weeks between security forces and Muslims and ethnic Somalis.   Read more…

Will Kenya mosque assault radicalize Muslim youths?

A boy, who was with fellow Muslims detained by police from a raid at the Musa mosque, climb in a cell as the men wait to be arraigned at a court in Shanzu, a coastal town of Mombasa February 3, 2014.  Joseph Okanga/Reuter

Early this month more than 100 young Muslims in this port city gathered at the Musa Mosque for what was billed as a regional Islamic conference. The meeting had been banned by police, who say the mosque has ties to the Somali militant group Al Shabab. But the organizers went ahead anyway.

By early afternoon on Feb. 2, Musa was full of people, including dozens of neighborhood children drawn by a free lunch.

What followed next is unclear:  Police say they tried to arrest mosque leaders and came under gunfire.  Muslim activists say the police stormed the mosque unprovoked.

However it started, police stormed the religious structure with boots on and began firing tear gas and live bullets at youth, some of whom fought back with knives. After a melee that captured national attention, police arrested 129 people, including 21 minors, some only 12 years old.  Dozens were injured, and rioting continued for days as wounded succumbed to injuries.  By Feb. 6, seven Muslims and one police officer lay dead.  Read more…

In Kenya’s Muslim port: A tale of two mosques

A police officer removes a flag hanged by Muslim youths at Musa Mosque in the coastal town of Mombasa February 2, 2014. Joseph Okanga/Reuters

Mombasa, Kenya Kenya’s new “war on terror,” inaugurated after radical jihadis attacked a swanky Nairobi shopping mall last fall, has rocked the nation, the Muslim community, and the nation’s security forces.

Since then a major police and military focus has been on the coastal city of Mombasa, and on its gritty working-class district called Majengo that features open-air welders and tin-roofed auto shops.  Read more…