Kenya detains two Somalis in Mombasa attack investigation

MOMBASA Tue May 6, 2014 12:48pm EDT

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MOMBASA (Reuters) - A Kenyan court on Tuesday ordered two Somali men held in custody for 10 days based on police suspicions they were involved in twin explosions in the port city of Mombasa that killed four people at the weekend.

Attackers threw a bomb at passengers at a bus station while a separate blast damaged a luxury hotel in the city. Both those incidents were on Saturday, and were followed a day later by two bus bombings in the capital Nairobi that killed three people.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but in the past Kenya has blamed similar attacks on al Qaeda-linked Somali group al Shabaab, which killed at least 67 people at the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi in September.

Kenyan investigators asked the court to detain the two Somalis to complete investigations, pending any formal charges.

Another 102 people arrested in police operations that followed the weekend attacks have since been freed.

Deputy President William Ruto on Monday defended his government against accusations it had not done enough to secure the nation after the Westgate attack. He urged the judiciary to help, noting some suspects in militant-related cases had been freed on bail and then carried out or plotted other attacks.

In Nairobi, five bus crew members were charged with failing to prevent attacks by not screening passengers who boarded. They all denied the charges and were released on bail.

Al Shabaab, which has claimed responsibility for the Westgate assault and other attacks, has demanded that Kenya withdraw its forces from Somalia where they are working with other African peacekeepers. Kenya has said it will not pull out.

(Reporting by Joseph Akwiri; Writing by Edmund Blair)

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