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Kenya frees 41 charged after extremist mosque raid


Men, part of the 70 arrested during a police raid on a mosque, arrive at a court in Shanzu.



Thursday, February 27, 2014

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Nairobi- A Kenyan court Wednesday dropped charges against 41 men and released on bail 29 others arrested earlier this month during a raid on a mosque accused of supporting Islamist extremists.

Police raided Mombasa's Musa mosque on February 2, detaining 70 men whom they accused of attending a radicalisation meeting, sparking deadly riots in the port city.

The 70 men were all initially charged with being members of Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab insurgents, as well as other charges including possession of firearms and inciting violence.

Magistrate Richard Oden-yo on Wednesday ordered 41 of those charged to be set free due to a lack of evidence.

The remaining 29 suspects were released on bail of 500,000 Kenyan shillings (5,800 dollars, 4,200 euros) each.

Kenya's top security chiefs warned on Tuesday of an "increased threats of radicalisation" from homegrown Islamists, singling out the Musa mosque as a specific centre encouraging extremism, along with two others.

Kenya has suffered a string of attacks blamed on Islamist insurgents, including the September massacre in Nairobi's Westgate mall in which at least 67 people were killed.



 





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