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Kenya Mall Attack Trial Begins

  • Reuters

FILE - This picture taken on Nov. 14, 2013 shows (from L) four men charged in connection with the Westgate mall massacre, Mohamed Abdi Ahmed, Omar Liban Abdulle, Adan Mohamed Ibrahim, and Hussein Hassan Mustafa sitting at court in Nairobi.

FILE - This picture taken on Nov. 14, 2013 shows (from L) four men charged in connection with the Westgate mall massacre, Mohamed Abdi Ahmed, Omar Liban Abdulle, Adan Mohamed Ibrahim, and Hussein Hassan Mustafa sitting at court in Nairobi.

Four men charged with helping al-Qaida-linked militants launch a murderous attack on a Kenyan shopping mall appeared in court on Wednesday at the start of their trial.

Mohamed Ahmed Abdi, Liban Abdullah Omar, Hussein Hassan, and Adan Mohamed Ibrahim are accused of giving support and shelter to gunmen who killed at least 67 people during the assault on Nairobi's Westgate complex that started on Sept. 21.

FILE - A gunman aims his rifle inside a store during an attack on the Westgate shopping mall, released to Reuters Oct. 17, 2013.

FILE - A gunman aims his rifle inside a store during an attack on the Westgate shopping mall, released to Reuters Oct. 17, 2013.

Prosecutors say the four committed a “terrorist act” under Kenya's anti-terrorism laws and used false documents. The men deny all the charges.

Westgate guard Stephen Juma told the court he saw three gunmen jump out of white car that pulled up outside the mall. One, he said, immediately shot dead a shopper.

“I couldn't recognize them since they had covered their heads and faces with black headscarves,” said Juma, who had worked there for five years.

Kenyan police and Western experts who joined the investigation said four gunmen carried out the attack, which struck at the heart of east Africa's biggest economy. They say all the gunmen died in the attack.

The assault was claimed by the Somali Islamist rebel group al-Shababand highlighted the militants' reach beyond Somalia's porous borders.

Islamist Militants Attack Nairobi Mall

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