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Africa

Eighteen Kampala bomb suspects released, three re-arrested

media An investigator walks through the remains of an Ethiopian-themed restaurant that was hit by an explosion in Kampala Reuters

A court in Kampala has acquitted 18 suspects of charges of taking part in the 11 July Kampala bombings. The suspects, mainly of Somali and Kenyan origin, were released after state prosecutors informed the civilian court that police investigations had proved they were not involved in the two attacks that left more than 70 people dead.

But shortly after being freed, two Ugandans and one Somali were re-arrested on separate charges. The lawyer of one of the Ugandan suspects says his client is wanted for allegedly acquiring goods on false pretences.

They have been driven off to an undisclosed location as investigations into their cases continue. The two were among 18 suspects who were released after a state prosecutor informed the magistrate’s court that charges against them should be discontinued because there was no evidence linking them to the July bombings.

They have been in detention since August, most of them after being transferred from neighbouring Kenya.

Meanwhile, another 17 suspects have been committed to a Higher Court for trial. They face charges of terrorism, murder and attempted murder in connection with the bombings at an Ethiopian restaurant and at a rugby club in eastern Kampala.

Police has also issued an arrest warrant for three new suspects. Muhammad Ali, Jaberi Mahmood Ali and Nyamadondo Hijal Sulaiman, a Tanzanian national, are wanted after state prosecutors informed the court that there is evidence that they could have had a hand in the bombings.

The attacks were the work of the Somali based Al-Shabab militant group, which was acting in protest against Uganda’s deployment of peacekeepers in Somalia.

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