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Kenyan police clash with Muslim youths in port city -witness

Source: Reuters - Sun, 2 Feb 2014 14:05 GMT
Author: Reuters
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MOMBASA, Kenya, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Muslim youths fought street battles on Sunday with Kenyan police outside a mosque where radical clerics regularly preach in the port city of Mombasa.

The police fired teargas and live rounds over the heads of taunting crowds, who hurled stones back. It was not immediately clear why the clashes had broken out.

Many Muslims in Mombasa's poorer neighbourhoods feel marginalised by the predominantly Christian Nairobi government, while a forceful crackdown on Islamist militant recruitment networks in the tourist hub is fuelling resentment.

One policeman was found sprawled in a pool of blood in a bathroom inside the Masjid Mussa mosque, located in the city's run-down Majengo neighbourhood.

"We found him locked up in a bathroom after we heard him groaning. It appears like they slaughtered him," said one armed policeman on the rock-strewn street outside the mosque.

There was no immediate confirmation from police whether the officer had survived the attack.

Unknown gunmen have shot dead two firebrand preachers associated with Masjid Mussa mosque in the past 18 months, both times sparking riots. Worshippers there accuse the government of operating a death squad, a charge the government denies. (Reporting by Joseph Akwiri; Writing by Richard Lough; Editing by Mike Collett-White)

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