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Uganda trial probes killings of 2 Muslim scholars

20th Oct 2016
Uganda trial probes killings of 2 Muslim scholars

By Halima Athumani

 

KAMPALA, (AA): A trial court in the capital Kampala on Wednesday heard a forensic pathologist’s testimony about how two senior Muslim clerics were gunned down “at very close range” in 2013 and 2015, stoking tensions in the Christian-majority country.

Cleric Hassan Ibrahim Kirya was killed in Dec. 29, 2013, while Mustapha Bahiga was gunned down July 1, 2015. “I noted that the gunshot wounds on their chests indicated they were shot at a close range of 100 centimeters [39 inches] and this led to over bleeding,” a Ugandan police forensic pathologist, who appeared as a state witness, told the high court.

Apart from gunshots, the victims had fractured ribs, wrists and lacerated exit wounds, he said.

Kirya was the spokesman of the Kibuli Muslim faction and the first person to head the Munazzamat al-Da’wa al-Islamiyya in Uganda. Bahiga was shot dead just after his suspension as the leader of another Muslim group faction loyal to him.

Fourteen suspects are being tried in the case, which is expected to hear testimonies from over 46 witnesses.

Between 2012 and 2015, 12 Muslim clerics were killed in the country. So far, no one has been convicted in the murder cases.

 

[Photo: Gaddafi National Mosque, Kampala. Creative commons]

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Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

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