Kenya's "Little Mogadishu" fears backlash after Shabaab attack

Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:26pm EDT
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* Residents say mall raiders bring Somalia's war to Kenya

* Nairobi's Somali district Eastleigh saw riots last year

* Police patrol Mombasa, which has large Muslim community

* Multi-ethnic Kenya has had secessionist stirrings on coast

By Kevin Mwanza

NAIROBI, Sept 22 (Reuters) - In the shabby "Little Mogadishu" quarter of Kenya's capital, Somalis feared the militant attack on a Nairobi shopping mall could trigger a violent backlash against them.

Islamist group al Shabaab said it carried out the raid on the Westgate centre, that killed at least 59 people, in revenge for Kenya's military campaign against its fighters in Somalia.

In the congested Eastleigh neighbourhood, memories were still fresh of the mobs who targeted homes and shops in November after a suspected al Shabaab attack on a minibus killed nine.

"A mob of youths can ... attack us like last time," said Mohamed Warsame, sitting next to a stall selling "khat" leaves, which are chewed as a stimulant across the Horn of Africa.   Continued...