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Kenyan MPs to quiz security chiefs

Source BBC News@

Friends and relatives of Mbugua Mwangi and his fiancee Rosemary Wahito attend their funeral service in Nairobi in Kenya, 27 Friday September 2013The funeral for President Uhuru Kenyatta's nephew is being held in Nairobi

Kenya's security chiefs have been summoned to appear before parliament's defence committee on Monday for questioning over the mall siege.

Sixty-seven people are known to have died in the attack, while Kenya's Red Cross says 61 people are still missing.

"The time for responsibility and accountability has come," the defence committee's chairman Ndung'u Gethenji is quoted as saying.

Forensic experts are still combing the Westgate shopping complex.

Somali Islamist group al-Shabab says it was behind the attack and subsequent four-day siege at the mall in the Kenyan capital.

Kenya is in its third day of official mourning for both the civilian and military victims of the siege.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is attending the funeral of nephew and his nephew's fiancee at a church service in the capital, Nairobi, where he has addressed the congregation.

Mbugua Mwangi and Rosemary Wahito were among those killed in the mall on Saturday.

They will later be buried in Ichaweri village in Gatundu about an hour's drive from Nairobi.

'Blame game'

The summoning of the heads of the various security agencies by the parliamentary defence committee comes amid rising concern among Kenyans over the authorities' preparedness for such an attack.

BBC Nairobi bureau editor David Okwembah says a blame game is playing out in the Kenyan media, with the various security agencies pointing the finger at each other.

Local media have reported that National Intelligence Service boss Michael Gichangi, one of those asked to appear before the committee, passed on intelligence about a possible attack to the police.

But Kenya's Daily Nation says that a highly placed police source denied that such information was received.

Al-Shabab, which is linked to al-Qaeda, has repeatedly threatened attacks on Kenyan soil if Nairobi did not pull its troops out of Somalia.

About 4,000 Kenyan troops have been sent to Somalia to help Somali government forces battle al-Shabab.

The group is banned as a terrorist group by both the US and the UK and is believed to have between 7,000 and 9,000 fighters.

Its members are fighting to create an Islamic state in Somalia.


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