Prosecutor in Shabaab bombing trial shot dead

2015-03-30 22:33
Hundreds of newly trained al-Shabaab fighters perform military exercises in the Lafofe area some 18km south of Mogadishu, in Somalia. (Farah Abdi Warsameh, AP/File)

Hundreds of newly trained al-Shabaab fighters perform military exercises in the Lafofe area some 18km south of Mogadishu, in Somalia. (Farah Abdi Warsameh, AP/File)

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Kampala - Gunmen on Monday shot dead a top Ugandan state prosecutor whose cases include the trial of 13 men accused of involvement in al-Shebaab bomb attacks that killed 76 people in 2010, police said.

Joan Kagezi, acting assistant director of public prosecution, was assassinated by men on a motorbike early Monday evening as she was driving home in a suburb of the capital, Kampala police spokesperson Patrick Onyango said.

"They were trailing her on a motorcycle.... They shot her dead," Onyango said.

The July 2010 suicide bombings targeted football fans watching the World Cup final at a restaurant and a rugby club in Kampala. Somalia's al-Qaeda affiliated Shabaab militants claimed responsibility for the attack, the group's first outside Somalia.

The trial of the accused - seven Kenyans, five Ugandans and one Tanzanian - began earlier this month at Uganda's High Court on a range of charges including terrorism, murder and membership of a terrorist organisation.

All but one have also been charged with belonging to the Shebaab.

Jane Kajuga, spokeswoman for the office of the director of public prosecution, confirmed the death of Kagezi, who led the prosecution's anti-terrorism and war crimes section.

"She has been shot dead... but details are so far scanty," Kajuga told the NTV Uganda station.

The July 2010 attack was one of the deadliest by the Shebaab, who also carried out the 2013 assault on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, killing at least 67 people.

Uganda and Kenya have contributed thousands of soldiers to the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom), which was established to fight the Islamists and protect the internationally recognised government.

Al-Shebaab continues to target countries in the region.

In September Ugandan security forces seized suicide vests and explosives during a raid on a suspected Shebaab cell in Kampala.

Last week Uganda said it was boosting security over threats by the Shebaab, after the US embassy in Kampala warned its citizens of a possible imminent terror attack.

Read more on:    al-shabaab  |  al-qaeda  |  uganda  |  east africa

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