Violent clashes in Kenyan capital


Kenyan security forces shot in the air and fired tear gas at hundreds of people protesting in the capital today against the detention of a Jamaican Muslim cleric.

The protesters, chanting "Allahu Akbar" (God is greatest) and some holding the flag of Somali rebel group al Shabaab, were blocked as they tried to march through the heart of the capital after prayers at Nairobi's downtown mosque.

Some Kenyans, angry that the attempted protest had taken place at all, joined forces with the police and began hurling stones at the marchers, squeezing them back towards the mosque.

"This is not an acceptable behaviour. The man who is supposed to be deported is not a Kenyan and his presence is not in the interest of Kenya these days," said one protester, Richard Odibo.

Sheikh Abdullah al-Faisal was visiting the east African nation for a preaching tour. Kenyan intelligence officials have said they fear his speeches could stoke radicalism in a country that has suffered two al-Qaeda-linked attacks.

Faisal was deported from Britain in 2007 for preaching racial hatred and urging his audiences to kill Jews, Hindus and Westerners. He was arrested in Kenya on December 31st.