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Fifth Suspect Charged with Murder in Mombasa Bombing - 2003-07-08

In Kenya, a fifth suspect has been charged with murder in last November's suicide bombing of a hotel near the coastal town of Mombasa.

The suspect, identified as Salmin Mohammed Khamis, appeared in court for his alleged role in the suicide bombing of the Israeli-owned Paradise Hotel.

Authorities say Mr. Khamis is an employee of a hardware store in Mombasa. He faces 15 counts of murder.

He joins four other men who were charged June 24 with 15 counts of murder, up from the 13 announced last month. They include Aboud Rogo Mohammed, Kubwa Mohamed, his son Mohammed Kubwa, and Sa'id Saggar Ahmed.

The number of murder counts against each was raised to 15, because since June 24 investigators have calculated that two more people than previously thought had died in the suicide bombing.

Police spokesman Kingori Mwangi confirmed that 12 Kenyans and three Israelis were killed in the November 28 attack. Including the three suicide bombers, this brings to 18 the number of people who died.

Mr. Mwangi also said the men are due to appear in court again on July 22. They have not entered a plea because their lawyers are reportedly preparing their documents.

The suspects are believed to have had ties to Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, an alleged operative in Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida terrorist organization.

Mr. Mohammed is a suspect in the hotel bombing and is also believed to have been involved in the bombings of the United States embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.