Tanzanian police kill bombing 'mastermind'

Arusha - Tanzanian police said on Monday they had shot dead a man suspected of carrying out bomb attacks in the tourist town of Arusha, including targeting a church and restaurant.

Yahaya Omari was described by police as the "mastermind, brain, co-ordinator and the main performer of terrorist bombings and acid attacks in Arusha."

He was being transferred to the Tanzanian capital Dodoma when he tried to escape, with officers shooting him dead late Sunday.

Omari, a martial arts teacher aged 31, who was also known as Yahaya Sensei, was arrested on 6 October.

During questioning, police said Omari had "admitted to have planned, coordinated and led" a series of attacks since 2012, although no details were given for his motivation.

Police said he had admitted carrying out a bomb attack in July on a restaurant in Arusha wounding eight people, as well as a May 2013 attack on a Catholic church, when an improvised bomb ripped through the building, wounding 30.

Arusha is a key town for Tanzania's tourist industry, a major source of foreign currency for the eastern African country.

Visitors come to the city before travelling onwards to the iconic snowcapped peak of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain, as well as to the Serengeti national park, famed for its great migration of wildebeest, one of nature's most spectacular wonders.

Religious tensions between Tanzania's usually peaceful Christian and Muslim communities have occasionally flared with attacks on mosques and churches.

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