By Humphrey Malalo and George Obulutsa
NAIROBI (Reuters) – A Kenyan court convicted two men on Wednesday for helping al Qaeda-linked gunmen storm Nairobi’s Westgate shopping mall and kill at least 67 people in a 2013 assault that proved Somali militants could strike at the heart of the capital.
The attack on the upscale mall – a favourite with the country’s growing middle class and foreign workers – came two years after the East African nation sent troops into Somalia following a series of kidnappings and raids on Kenyan soil.
A third defendant, also charged under a national terrorism prevention act, was acquitted in the trial, the only prosecution Kenya mounted over the assault by Somali al Shabaab militants.
Four gunmen died during the attack in one of the most secure areas of the Kenyan capital, and it has never been proven that there were any others who escaped.