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Swedish Police Release Former Somali Militiaman Accused of War Crimes


A Swedish court has released a former Somali militia commander accused of war crimes for lack of evidence.

The court freed Abdi Qeybdiid, 57, Thursday, saying the evidence against him was insufficient.

He was detained Sunday night while in Sweden to attend an aid conference. Local Somalis gave Swedish police a videotape allegedly showing him interrogating and executing two Somali men.

But a court-appointed lawyer said the videotape was heavily edited and proved nothing.

Abdi Qeybdiid was a former police chief and top aid to Somali warlord Mohammed Farrah Aideed, who fought U.S. troops in Somalia in the early 1990s.

His arrest opened old wounds and provoked anger among his supporters. During a hearing before his release, dozens of Somalis gathered outside a police station, demanding his freedom and carrying signs warning Sweden to stay out of Somali clan rivalry.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.

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