Kenyan cops nab Muslim activist

NAIROBI - Kenyan police arrested a prominent Muslim activist in chaotic scenes yesterday as seven suspects appeared in Nairobi's high court accused of involvement in riots that rocked the capital on Friday.

NAIROBI - Kenyan police arrested a prominent Muslim activist in chaotic scenes yesterday as seven suspects appeared in Nairobi's high court accused of involvement in riots that rocked the capital on Friday.

The chairperson of Kenya's Muslim Human Rights Forum, Al-Amin Kimathi, was detained a day after security forces raided a mainly Somali suburb of the city, arresting scores of people following violence at a protest on Friday.

"What has happened to Kimathi today is an attack on the rule of law and an attack on the judiciary," his lawyer said as the activist left the high court in handcuffs, his arms raised above his head.

Minutes earlier, the seven suspects had been charged with unlawful protest, theft and destruction of property.

Given the regional threat from Somali extremists seen as a proxy for al-Qaeda, civil unrest is worrying for a nation that has in the past been hit by two al- Qaeda-linked attacks.

Friday's demonstration against the deportation of a jailed Muslim cleric was organised by Kenyan Muslims, but many of the marchers who fought pitched battles with security forces for more than eight hours were Somalis. - Reuters

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