- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 28, 2012

NAIROBI, Kenya — Police and protesters fought running battles as a violent backlash to the killing of a radical Islamic preacher carried into a second day Tuesday in Kenya’s second-largest city of Mombasa, leaving several people hospitalized, including seven injured in a grenade attack, police and human rights officials said.

The killing Monday of Aboud Rogo Mohammed, who was fatally shot as he drove in his car with his family, falls into a pattern of extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances of suspected terrorists, allegedly being orchestrated by Kenyan police, human rights groups say.

The attack has brought to the surface tensions in a city established centuries ago by Muslim traders from the Arabian peninsula and the Indian subcontinent, now home to hundreds of thousands of people of Arab descent and a large Somali population.

A senior police source said seven people were hurt when a grenade exploded. There were no fatalities in the attack.

Police officers fired tear gas on youths during their second day of protests.

Hussein Khalid of the Muslims for Human Rights group said police were using tear gas against stone-throwing protesters. Mr. Khalid said one person was stabbed and hospitalized Tuesday.

Regional police boss Aggrey Adoli said officers were forced to keep violent protests from spreading after such demonstrations had led to the death of one person and the vandalism of two churches and businesses on Monday.

“We are trying to contain them so that we don’t create more deaths. Deaths and destruction of property will not help with anything,” Mr. Adoli said.

Mohammed recently was sanctioned by the U.S. government and the U.N. for his alleged connection to an al Qaeda-linked Somali militant group, al-Shabab.

He is the fifth alleged Muslim extremist who has been killed or who disappeared in the last four months, according to human rights campaigners. One corpse was found mutilated and the other four men vanished.

Mohammed was fatally shot as he drove with his family in Mombasa. His wife was wounded in the leg, said Mohammed’s father, who was also in the car along with Mohammed’s 5-year-old daughter. He said he and the girl weren’t injured.

Mr. Adoli said police have asked Muslim elders and religious leaders to urge the young protesters to stop the violence. A team of investigators from police headquarters in Nairobi arrived in Mombasa to start investigating Mohammed’s killing, he said.

Police believe Mohammed had ties to al Qaeda and was part of a terror cell with links to al-Shabab militants that was planning to carry out bomb attacks in Kenya during Christmas.

Other members of the cell include Briton Samantha Lewthwaite, who police say is on the run. She is the widow of Jermaine Lindsay, one of the suicide bombers who killed 52 commuters in multiple bombings of London’s transport system on July 7, 2005.

The other is Briton Jermaine Grant, sentenced to three years in prison for immigration offenses and lying to a government official about his identity.