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Friday, 4 August, 2000, 09:18 GMT 10:18 UK
Compensation deadline for Kenyans
Rescuers in Nairobi
More than 200 died in the US embassy bombing two years ago
By East Africa correspondent Cathy Jenkins

Hundreds of Kenyans who were injured or suffered damage to property in the Nairobi bombing two years ago have their last chance to file a claim against the United States government for damages.

Monday 7 August, the second anniversary of the bombing of the United States embassy in Nairobi, also marks the two-year limit within which, according to US law, a claim must be filed.

But because of the weekend, law firms in Nairobi say that in practice Friday is the last day.

And lawyers in Nairobi say that because of the lack of information, many Kenyans will probably not take the opportunity.

They say that up to 2,000 Kenyans are going to let the opportunity pass.

Fear of courts

The Nairobi legal firm of Ibrahim and Isaak, working in conjunction with lawyers in the US, has helped about 1,000 Kenyans to file claims.

But it says that many more will not do so probably because of a lack of information and a basic apprehension of courts.

US secretary for State Madeleine Albright lays a wreath
Kenyans accused the US of doing little to help the injured at the time
The US Government is expected to file a motion dismissing the claims on the grounds that compensation cannot be given for incidents which happened outside US territory.

If the judge agrees that claims can be filed, then each claimant will have the opportunity to present his or her case.

More than 210 people died in the Kenyan bomb blast and a further 11 people died in a near simultaneous blast at the US embassy in Tanzania.

The United States alleges that the Saudi exile Osama bin Laden was behind both attacks he is among 17 men indicted by a district court in Manhattan.

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See also:

06 Aug 99 | Africa
Picking up the pieces
10 Aug 98 | Africa
The story in pictures
09 Aug 98 | Africa
Eyewitnesses tell their story
08 Aug 99 | Africa
Kenya's bitter lesson
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