January 17, 2010 / 9:18 PM / 10 years ago

Kenyan police raid Somali suburb after riots

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenyan security forces raided a predominantly Somali suburb of the capital Nairobi Sunday night and took away scores of people, residents said.

The raid followed a protest against the detention of a Jamaican Muslim cleric in the heart of the capital Friday that turned violent, killing at least one person.

Ahmed Nur Ugas, a Somali member of parliament (MP), told Reuters police were picking up people they considered to be Somalis, whether they had legitimate papers or not.

“They arrested us in the Andalus Hotel. They see us as Somalis,” he said. “We are now in a police car. They didn’t discriminate between the ones with legal papers and others.”

He said 16 Somali lawmakers had been detained so far by Kenyan police.

In the Barakat Hotel in Eastleigh, police went from room to room, searched the kitchens and toilets, opened bags and asked residents why they were in Kenya and what their nationality was.

At Friday’s protest, some demonstrators carried flags identified with Somalia’s hardline Islamist rebel group al Shabaab and there were reports of mobs attacking Somalis in retribution for the mayhem.

One police officer was injured by a gunshot during more than eight hours of pitched battles near a downtown mosque.

Reporting by Sahra Abdi; writing by David Clarke; Editing by Charles Dick

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