Mombasa cleric's associate surrenders

Sept. 4, 2012 at 11:58 AM

MOMBASA, Kenya, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- An associate of slain Kenyan cleric Aboud Rogo Mohammed denied charges of inciting violence after surrendering to authorities.

An arrest warrant was issued for Abubaker Ahmed on charges he incited violence. The Daily Nation newspaper in Kenya reports Ahmed issued statements calling for the assassination of pro-government clerics and the killing of police officers.

Ahmed denied the charges against him. The newspaper reports he turned himself in after hearing of the charges in the news media. He was quoted as saying there was "a hit squad" in the country targeting Muslim clerics thought to be extremists.

Demonstrations in Mombasa broke out last week after Rogo, a cleric allegedly tied to al-Qaida, was killed in a drive-by shooting. He was described by the U.N. Security Council as the ideological leader of a Kenyan group allied with al-Shabaab in neighboring Somalia.

Four policemen were injured during demonstrations last week when their vehicle was hit by a grenade near a Christian church in Mombasa.

The violence comes as Kenya prepares for national elections next year. More than 1,000 people were killed in fighting between supporters of President Mwai Kibaki and those of rival Raila Odinga, now prime minister, in 2007.

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