10 suspects charged in Uganda over al-Shabab ties

AP News
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Posted: Sep 24, 2014 1:53 PM

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Ugandan authorities on Wednesday charged 10 suspects of Somali origin with terror-related offenses following their arrest in a raid on a suspected al-Shabab cell in this East African country.

The terror suspects — including two women — appeared in a court in the Ugandan capital of Kampala, charged with belonging to a terrorist group as well as aiding terror activities. Nine of them are Somali nationals and one is Kenyan.

Prosecutors say the suspects belong to the al-Qaida-linked Somali militant group al-Shabab, which in 2010 claimed responsibility for bomb attacks that killed at least 76 people watching a soccer World Cup final on giant screens in Kampala. They are accused of being active members of al-Shabab since 2010.

Uganda, which has troops fighting al-Shabab in Somalia, has been on alert amid concerns al-Shabab is plotting an attack similar to the deadly assault on a mall in Kenya a year ago.

Uganda's security forces on Sept. 13 raided at least two locations deep inside a Kampala slum, saying the operation was to bust an al-Shabab cell that plotted attacks in Kampala. Following the operation, the U.S. Embassy in Uganda, which had urged U.S. citizens to stay indoors while the operation unfolded, reported that a terror attack had been disrupted.

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Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Sierra Leone have deployed troops to Somalia as part of an African Union force bolstering the country's weak government against al-Shabab's insurgency. The African Union troops pushed al-Shabab out of the capital, Mogadishu, in 2011. A similar offensive is under way to oust the militants from their remaining strongholds in southern Somalia, where a U.S. airstrike killed al-Shabab's former spiritual leader earlier this month.