Six men arrested in Kenya by police who suspected them of being gay have been released.

The men, aged between 20 and 35, were taken into custody last Friday after rumours they were planning a gay wedding in the coastal town of Mtwapa.

Hundreds of local people protested over the rumours and police had to rescue a number of men accused of being gay from angry crowds.

Police spokesman Martha Mutegi told the BBC that there was no evidence to prosecute the men.

He added that they had been told to leave the area for their own safety.

Reports initially said the men were planning to attend a gay wedding ceremony but gay activists in Kenya say this was a rumour spread by local religious leaders.

They claim that local radio stations and religious leaders had been inciting people to protest and find the men.

An HIV centre was also surrounded by protesters and there were reports that some men suspected of being gay were beaten.

Homosexuality is illegal in Kenya and consenting sex between two men in punishable by up to 14 years in prison.