Chaos in Kiamaiko as groups fight over right to hold prayers

Saturday May 18 2019

Kiamaiko clashes

Residents of Kiamaiko in Nairobi walk past a police water cannon truck following clashes between two religious groups on May 17, 2019. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

OUMA WANZALA
By OUMA WANZALA
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Traders in Kiamaiko estate in Nairobi were on Friday forced to shut their businesses as police engaged two religious groups fighting over the right to conduct prayers in the area.

The conflict started in the evening when one group sought the intervention of police to stop the other from preaching at night.

After police confiscated the loud speakers, the second group started to throw stones at the other, members saying they had been targeted unfairly.

CASUALTIES

The clashes left several people with injuries and business people counting losses as their premises were vandalised.

Pupils were also released from school as police lobbed teargas canisters to disperse the rivals.

Officers from the General Service Unit (GSU), regular and administration police departments were deployed to restore order.

APPEALS

Resident Peter Mwangi said the fighting was unnecessary and asked those involved to stop it.

“We worship one God so I wonder why one group would go out of its way to destroy people's property," he said.

Ali Gulicha, an official of the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims, called for calm.

“We ask police to deal with those who incited violence,” he said.

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