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Friday, October 9, 1998 Published at 05:45 GMT 06:45 UK

World: Americas

Three deny embassy bomb murders

The death toll in Kenya has been revised downwards

Three men have appeared before a court in New York to deny charges that they were part of an international plot to bomb the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, in which more than 200 died.

The three were accused of conspiring with the Islamic militant Osama Bin Laden through his al Qaeda organisation to plan the bombings which took place almost simultaneously on the same day in August.

Twelve Americans were among the dead.

In New York, the US Attorney, Mary Jo White, said that unlike earlier indictments which just named the deceased Americans, this one was for "each and every victim of the embassy bombings".

"Justice will be served for every one of those victims," she said.

[ image: Osama bin Laden: accused of masterminding attacks]
Osama bin Laden: accused of masterminding attacks
The indictment issued on Wednesday also links the suspects to an international conspiracy to kill Americans, as well as to the bombings of the US embassies.

The US authorities allege the suspects are followers of exiled Saudi millionaire Osama bin Laden, who the US also believes to be the mastermind behind several other terrorist attacks.

Two men are in federal custody in Manhattan. A third suspect charged with the murders, Haroun Fazil, has not been arrested and the US is offering a $2m reward for his capture. He is originally from the Comoros Islands off East Africa.

A fourth suspect, detained in New York, was not charged with the murders.

The US Attorney-General, Janet Reno has said this is the most extensive overseas criminal investigation in American history.

Toll revised

Meanwhile, the Kenyan authorities have revised downwards the number of people killed by the American embassy bomb in Nairobi.

It is now put at 213 - 35 less than the previous total.

Some bodies are said to have been mistakenly counted twice.

The relief fund for victims says some of the estimated $3.8m collected in donations would be used to defray medical and rehabilitation costs for the thousands injured in the blast.

Eleven were also killed in the bombing in Tanzania.

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