7 charged over violent protest in Kenya

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NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Seven Kenyans have been charged in court with assaulting five police officers during a violent protest last week to demand the release of a radical Jamaican-born Muslim cleric.

The seven pleaded not guilty and were released on bail Monday. Soon afterward, police arrested, within the court premises, the head of the Muslim Human Rights Forum, Al-Amin Kimathi, who had witnessed the hearing. Kimathi’s group organized Friday’s protest during which several people were killed.

In a related development, Nairobi police chief, Anthony Kibuchi, says that police arrested late Sunday about 400 people in a crackdown on suspected sympathizers of an extremist Somali Islamic group. Kenya’s internal security minister had blamed Friday’s violence on sympathizers of al-Shabab.