, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 15 – At least five people were killed on Friday during a riot by Muslim protesters who are opposed to the continued detention of Jamaican Muslim cleric Sheikh Abdullah El-Feisal.
Two of them died at a clinic near the Jamia Mosque while three others died on the way to hospital, according to eye witnesses.
The Capital FM reporter at the secen later counted five bodies of the dead.
Farouk Machanje, the Co-convenor of the Muslim Human Rights Forum which organised the demonstration said he said on telephone from the Jamia Mosque: “They were all killed by bullet wounds. I have collected a total of seven spent cartridge.”
“We are now preparing them for burial. It is very sad that the police provoked the demonstrators and you can see now they have killed our people,” he added.
At the Crescent Medical Centre, just near the Jamia Mosque we found relatives of one of the demonstrator who had been shot dead.
“This is my cousin, Ahmed Hassan Abdullahi and he works on Kirinyaga Road in a motor vehicle spare parts shop and he came here at the mosque to pray. He has now been killed,” Sophia Said told reporters moments after identifying his body. He had a bullet wound on his shoulder.
We also counted 12 people who were being treated at the clinic with critical bullet wounds.
Some of the relatives of the people killed declined to speak to us. One of them, a middle aged woman said: “What do you want us to say, our people have been killed, you have even seen for yourself the bodies.”
Four other people who had been stabbed during the demonstration were taken to hospital by motorists passing through the riot zone. Police confirmed they had arrested several suspects but declined to comment about the casualties.
Nairobi Provincial deputy police chief Moses Nyakwama said: “We have called for more reinforcement because we want to restore peace and order.”
He added: “We have also arrested several suspects,” but declined to comment about the number of deaths or those injured.
As the riot degenerated, police appeared to withdraw after they seemed overpowered forcing angry members of the public to stone the demonstrators.
Dozens of people were wounded in the process while some of them were stabbed by the demonstrators.
Several vehicles parked on Biashara Street and other streets near Jamia Mosque were extensively damaged.
By 5pm, police were still battling the demonstrators while firing in the air and using tear gas canisters and water canons.