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Somali terror suspects charged in Kenya

(Xinhua)

22:02, December 01, 2011

MOMBASA, Kenya, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- Five Somalis who were arrested in the coastal town on Lamu last month on suspicions of being linked to terror activities were charged in the Kenyan court on Thursday.

The suspects who were arraigned in a Lamu court did not take plea after the court failed to get a Somali interpreter. The five face charges of being unlawfully present in the country and failing to report entry to the nearest immigration office.

They were charged that on Nov. 25, at Manda Bay area of Lamu, being Somali nationals, unlawfully present in Kenya without any authority or permit.

The authorities said the suspects who were arrested during the just concluded Lamu Cultural Festivals that attracted both local and foreign tourists failed to report entry to the nearest immigration office.

Only one suspect pleaded guilty while the rest denied the charges on Thursday. The magistrate later directed that the case be handled in the afternoon after which all the suspects pleaded guilty to the charges.

Police in the area had claimed that the suspects arrived at the Manda Bay area, near the Kenyan border with Somalia onboard a speed boat then alighted and proceeded on foot to an unknown destination moments before they were arrested.

They were kept in custody and later arraigned the next day in court, with the Prosecutor, Caleb Mutonyi, asking the court that the case be adjourned to ensure that the police conducted more investigations.

The court will issue the ruling over their sentence on Friday. Heavy security presence of policemen is now evident in the town and more patrols at sea, to ensure that there are no security glitches.

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