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Published: Wednesday December 4, 2013 MYT 6:58:36 PM
Updated: Wednesday December 4, 2013 MYT 6:59:42 PM

Kenya denies bail for four charged with aiding mall attackers

Somali men Mohamed Ahmed Abdi (seated L-R), Liban Abdullah Omar, Adan Mohamed Ibrahim and Hussein Hassan appear at the High Court for bail application in capital Nairobi 12, 2013. REUTERS/Noor Khamis

Somali men Mohamed Ahmed Abdi (seated L-R), Liban Abdullah Omar, Adan Mohamed Ibrahim and Hussein Hassan appear at the High Court for bail application in capital Nairobi 12, 2013. REUTERS/Noor Khamis

NAIROBI (Reuters) - A Kenyan court denied a plea for bail on Wednesday by four Somali men charged with terrorist offences for allegedly helping al Qaeda-linked militants attack a Nairobi shopping mall that killed at least 67 people.

The Somali Islamist group al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack, which struck at the heart of east Africa's biggest economy, over Kenya's refusal to withdraw troops from an African peacekeeping force battling the militants in Somalia.

Nairobi's Chief Magistrate Kiarie Waweru Kiarie said he had denied bail because the suspects might interfere with the investigation into the attack.

The four were formally charged with the "commission of a terrorist act" under Kenya's anti-terrorism laws on November 4. Other accusations ranged from providing support and shelter to the gunmen to using false documents. They pleaded not guilty.

The men were named as Mohamed Ahmed Abdi, Liban Abdullah Omar and Hussein Hassan, while a fourth was identified as Adan Mohamed Ibrahim, although he was listed as using other aliases.

The court set a formal date for the start of trial on January 15. The men were remanded in custody until then.

(Reporting by Humphrey Malalo; Writing by James Macharia, editing by Elizabeth Piper)

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