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By Godfrey Olukya 18-10-2012

The disappearance of a popular Sheik, and also renown religious leader in Zanzibar who leads a group that is demanding that Zanzibar
secedes from the mainland has led to riots in which property worth millions of US dollars has been destroyed.

Sheik Farid Hadi Ahmed, reportedly disappeared on Tuesday night. When his followers learnt of his disappearance yesterday, they started riots which have continued to today.

His supporters believe that he was arrested by the police. But police said that it has not arrested him.

The angry supporters pelted police with stones and attacked the office of the ruling party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi. They destroyed all the property in the office.

Police fired live bullets in air and used teargas in Darajani area of Zanzibar town to disperse groups of people who were throwing stones
and burning tyres in the middle of roads.

Zanzibar police commissioner Ali Mussa said,’We have not arrested Sheik Ahmed. We are investigating his disappearance. We believe he is hiding.’

He said they are also investigating the reasons for the riots saying they will not hesitate to arrest all those concerned.

Two people have been so far arrested by police in connection to destroying property. Police said that several bars and cars were burnt down before police dispersed the mob.

Sheik Ahmed is said to be with connections to a group called Uamsho, which has been associated with earlier chaos that resulted in the
burning down of some churches in Zanzibar.

Zanzibar is one of the most popular tourism attractions in the region where thousands of visitors from Europe and USA flock every year.

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