World Bulletin/News Desk
Fifty three suspected members of a Kenyan separatist group appeared in court in Mombasa on Monday, charged with raiding a police camp, hacking to death the officer in charge and stealing two rifles.
The suspects - brought under armed police escort to the port city from the coastal county of Kilifi, 40 kms (25 miles) away - denied six charges including murder and robbery with violence.
Police say more than 20 machete-wielding men attacked the camp on Dec. 11 and blame the Mombasa Republican Council (MRC).
The outlawed group wants independence for Kenya's Indian Ocean coastal regions, citing decades of neglect by the Nairobi government. The MRC has denied any involvement.
Prosecutors told the court that the defendants were members of the MRC and were also planning attacks over the Christmas holiday season.
They denied all charges and were detained until Dec. 29, when the court will rule on their application for bail.
This year, Kenya's coastal strip has borne the brunt of frequent gun and grenade attacks, mostly blamed on militants from neighbouring Somalia, and the country has suffered a consequent slump in its vital tourism sector.Güncelleme Tarihi: 22 Aralık 2014, 14:15