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Kenya charges four Somalis over mall attack

Men face court without legal representation, accused of aiding attackers at Nairobi's Westgate shopping centre.

Last Modified: 04 Nov 2013 20:51
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Four men are believed to have carried out the Westgate mall attack [Reuters]

Authorities in Kenya have charged four Somali nationals with aiding those who carried out September's attack on Nairobi's Westgate Mall that killed 67 people.

A court ordered the four men, Mohamed Ahmed Abdi, Liban Abdullah Omar, Hussein Hassan Mustafah, and Adan Dheq, imprisoned until a court hearing next week. None are accused of being the gunmen in the mall.

Abdi, Omar and Mustafah were charged with knowingly supporting the attackers. They are also charged with entering Kenya illegally and obtaining false identification documents.

Dheq was accused of harbouring a man authorities say is a senior leader of al-Shabab, which carried out the Westgate mall attack.

The four, who deny the charges against them, are due back in court on November 11.

The charges had to be read to the defendants in Somali by a translator. The suspects, who had no lawyer, were remanded in custody for one week after the prosecution asked for time for further investigations.

Norwegian link

The four gunmen who carried out the Westgate attack are understood to have died during the four-day siege.

Interpol is assisting Kenya in trying to identify four bodies suspected to be the gunmen, police said last week.

Detectives are continuing to investigate a possible link to Norway, with Ndegwa Muhoro, head of Kenya's Police Criminal Investigation Department, saying that a telephone call was made to the country from the mall during the attack.

A Norwegian citizen of Somali origin is suspected of planning the Westgate mall attack. 

Norway's PST intelligence agency has said it has investigated the reports, but has declined to comment on his identity.

The Somali group al-Shabab said it carried out the attack and in retaliation for Kenya's deployment of troops in southern Somalia.

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Source:
AFP And AP
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