Kenyan police officers in Mombasa on Monday continued to confront young Muslims who were throwing rocks and other projectiles at the officers for a second day, according to an American counterterrorism analyst, Richard Grossinger.
Kenyan police faced rock-throwing Muslims in the streets of the coastal city for the second day after two people were killed and dozens injured during the previous day’s unrest, according to the African news media.
The chaos and violence caused businesses adjacent to the Masjid Msa Mosque to close their doors and the roads were barricaded and automobiles smashed or set on fire in Kenya’s tourist resort town.
The youths, who are characterized as Islamists, had barricaded the streets and were stoning vehicles before they were later overpowered by police officers using anti-riot gear and equipment.
The Islamists are threatening more violence unless the Kenyan government releases their colleagues who were arrested during fighting in the aftermath of police officers storming the Masjid Msa Mosque, a religious facility suspected of being a recruitment center for Al Shabaab, the Somalia-based group linked to al-Qaeda.
About 120 Islamists were arrested on Sunday and were arraigned in court on Monday. They were formally charged with being connected to the Al Shabaab terrorist group.
The arraignment judge ruled that the 120 suspects should remain in detention at least for five days in order for the prosecutors to complete their investigations.
The protests came as Muslim leadership requested that Kenya’s police force take action against radicalized youth in Mombasa who were causing unrest in mosques throughout the city in the name of Allah.
A police anti-terrorism unit has also launched a manhunt for a wanted terror suspect who escaped a police dragnet when his home was raided. During the raid, police investigators discovered an AK-47 rifle with two magazines of ammunition, and Kenyan military uniforms.
Police claim the firearms were part of a weapons cache the suspect smuggled from an Al Shabaab base in Somalia into Kenya.