Wednesday July 1 2015

More questions as another Sheikh is gunned down in Kampala

The late Kibuli-based Muslim faction

The late Kibuli-based Muslim faction spokesperson Sheikh Hassan Kirya (C) with the Commandant of VIPPU, Mr Elias Kassirabo (L) and his deputy Anthony Ntungwa (R). This was after security personnel were deployed to guard Muslim clerics whose lives are under threat. Photo by Rachel Mabala  

By FARAHANI MUKISA

KAMPALA. Shortly after his Tarawih prayers at Dar-tal-alim al-islamiya in Rubaga, Sheikh Ibrahim Hassan Kirya, was on Tuesday attacked and shot dead by unknown assailants on a bodaboda motor cycle.

The-49-year-old spokesperson of Kibuli Muslim faction was gunned down in Bweyogerere, Wakiso district on his way home.
According to eye witnesses, Sheikh Kirya was shot along with three other people who are currently battling for their lives at Mulago National Referral Hospital.
He was attacked shortly after crossing the road to buy some passion fruits.
His body was taken to Mulago National Hospital for a postmortem examination.

Sheikh Kirya had earlier informed Uganda Police that he feared for his life after a number of Muslim clerics were killed in related incidents by unknown assailants.

Sheikh Ibrahim Hassan Kiirya was on Tuesday

Sheikh Ibrahim Hassan Kiirya was on Tuesday shot dead by unknown assailants on a bodaboda. File photo

According to police, Sheikh Kirya was attacked at around 10pm as he returned to his home in Bweyogerere after dropping off one of his security officers who stays in Kireka police barracks.

"We had given him close body protection; all round security by some of our best officers under the VIP protection who had been moving with him and all the other associates in that vulnerable situation. At around 9:30, he offered to drop the body guard who stays in our barracks in Kireka. After dropping him, he was driving to his home in Bweyogerere where he was attacked and shot dead," said Mr Fred Enanga, the Police spokesperson, .

Sheikh Kiirya is survived by three wives and four children.

Related killings

Sheikh Kirya is the fourth Muslim leader to be killed under similar circumstances in just less than a year.

In May this year, Sheikh Abdulrashid Wafula, the Imam of Bilal Mosque in Mbale Town was gunned down at the gate of his home in Kireka village Nakaloke Town Council, Mbale district.
On December 28, last year, Sheikh Mustafa Bahiga was shot dead at the Bwebajja Mosque on Entebbe road.
Sheikh Bahiga was also shot five times; three bullets in the left limb, one on the head and another in the stomach as he was going for Ishae Prayer.

Sheikh Bahiga’s death came barely two days after Sheikh Dr Abdul Kadir Muwaya; the Shiite leader was gunned down at his home in Mayuge district.

By Wednesday morning, police had sealed off the

By Wednesday morning, police had sealed off the crime scene where Sheikh Kirya was killed. Photo by Faiswal Kasirye

Sheikh Bahiga and Dr Muwaya's death led to the arrest of a number of people, including top Muslim leaders on allegations of murder and having links with the ADF rebels operating along DR Congo-Uganda border.
Sheikh Kirya, Sheikh Bahiga, Dr Muwaya and Sheikh Wafula‘s death leave a number of questions unanswered including the circumstances involving the killing of Sheikh Abdul Karim Ssentamu and Hajj Abubaker Kiweewa who were in 2012 gunned down by unknown assailants in different locations in the city.

The inspector general of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura linked the killings of the Muslim clerics to the ADF rebel activities and that he was determined to hunt them (killers) down.

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