Top moderate Kenyan Muslim preacher shot dead

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Addis Ababa, 11 June 2014 (WIC) - Gunmen in Kenya's port city of Mombasa on Tuesday shot dead an influential moderate Muslim preacher who was a vocal opponent of the radical preachings of Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab insurgents, police said.

Mohamed Idris, chairman of the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya, was "shot only once in the stomach" shortly before dawn as he headed to prayers at a mosque, Mombasa police chief Robert Kitur told AFP.

Mombasa County Commissioner Nelson Marwa said it was a drive-by shooting, with gunmen firing from a motorbike. "They shot him in the abdomen and he was pronounced dead at the hospital," Marwa said. Idris was chairman of a key mosque that was recently taken over radical youths.

"There was a power struggle at Sakina mosque -- where he was supposed to be installed as a sheikh -- between his supporters and another radical group opposed to him," Kitur added. Idris's death is the latest killing of Muslim leaders in the city, although previous shootings have been of radical leaders accused of backing the Shebab. (AFP)