NAIROBI, Kenya – Unknown gunmen shot and killed the chairman of the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya on Tuesday, an official said. Sheik Mohamed Idris is the fourth prominent Muslim leader to be shot dead in the coastal city of Mombasa.
A Mombasa police commander, Henry Ondiek, said the motive behind the killing is not known. He was shot Tuesday as he left a mosque early in the morning.
Human rights activists allege that the government is behind the killings. Sheik Aboud Rogo Mohammed was killed in August 2012. Sheik Ibrahim Ismael was killed in October 2013. In April gunmen shot and killed Abubakar Shariff Ahmed, known as Makaburi, near a mosque.
The murders remain unsolved.
Kenya is fighting a wave of terror attacks believed to be perpetrated by Somali Islamic militants and their supporters. Rights groups say the government kills high-profile suspects because prosecutors cannot build a case that would lead to a conviction in court.
A prominent Muslim leader, Al-Amin Kimathi, said he is "terribly distributed" by Idris' death, which he called "so senseless."