Two deny links to al-Shabaab group

Mr Yunus Salim Swaleh (right) and Mr Khamis Juma Hussein in a Nairobi Court on Wednesday, where they were charged with being members of Somali terror group al-Shabaab. The two, from Liboi in Garissa County, denied the charge and were remanded in custody until May 20, when their trial starts. PHOTO/PAUL WAWERU

Two men were on Wednesday charged in a Nairobi court with being members of the Somali terror group, al-Shabaab.

Mr Yunus Swaleh Salim and Mr Khamisi Juma Hussein were brought to Nairobi from Liboi in Garissa for prosecution on the day they were arrested.

The charges come a day after three police officers were killed in Garissa Town by unknown gunmen.

The accused, who were not represented, denied the charge before the Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate, Ms Lucy Mbugua.

Scores injured

The prosecutor, Chief Inspector Nzau Musangi, opposed a bid by the men to be freed on bond.

He said: “Violence against the security apparatus by insurgents is on the rise.”

Inspector Musangi said spontaneous attacks on security personnel “should be treated with the seriousness [they] deserve by judicial officers.”

Mr Nzau urged the magistrate to take notice of the recent terror attacks that have left scores of civilians and security officers dead.

Last year a twin bomb attack at two churches in Garissa Town left 16 worshippers dead and scores others injured.

Other attacks were staged in Nairobi and Mombasa, the prosecutor recounted.

The court ordered the prosecution to provide the suspects with copies of witness statements and any other exhibits that will be used during hearing of the case.

Investigations against Mr Swaleh and Mr Hussein began on August 28 last year, the prosecutor told the court.

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