Mombasa riots: At least four killed in Kenyan port city after imam killing

Ibrahim Omar and three others were shot dead as on Thursday

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The Independent Online

At least four people have died in angry clashes after the killing of a preacher in Kenya.

Crowds fought with police clad in riot gear in the south-eastern port city of Mombasa, and a church was set on fire. Police fired tear gas to disperse the crowd.

Ibrahim Omar and three others were shot dead as they drove in the city's outskirts on Thursday. The killing was similar to that of Aboud Rogo Mohammed in August 2012, which sparked days of rioting by Muslims in the city, who feel marginalised by the largely Christian government.

Both hardliners, the preachers had alleged links with al-Shabaab, the Islamists behind last month's Westgate shopping mall massacre, which killed at least 67 in the capital, Nairobi. Followers accuse the police of involvement in the killing - an accusation the police deny.

According to Reuters news agency, Robert Kitur, Mombasa County police commander, said: "The police have nothing to do with the shooting. That's not how we operate."

The worst of the running battles, which began after Friday prayers, were in the Saba Saba area, where traders shuttered their shops and residents fled.

Mr Kitur said: "We are trying to deal with some youths who have started bringing trouble within town. They are few. We will contain them."