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5 Sentenced to Life for 2010 Uganda Bombings

  • VOA News

FILE - Damaged chairs and tables lie among the debris strewn after a bomb attack outside an Ethiopian restaurant in Kampala, July 12, 2010.

FILE - Damaged chairs and tables lie among the debris strewn after a bomb attack outside an Ethiopian restaurant in Kampala, July 12, 2010.

A Ugandan court has sentenced five men to life in prison for bomb attacks on two World Cup parties that killed 76 people in 2010.

Judge Alfonse Owiny-Dollo handed down the sentences Friday, a day after he found the men guilty of terrorism, murder and attempted murder. Two men convicted of similar charges received 50-year sentences.

Those sentenced to life behind bars included Ugandan national Issa Ahmed Luyima, named by the judge as the attacks' mastermind.

Prosecutors had sought the death penalty for the bombers, but the judge said he did not think executions would bring "closure" to Ugandan society.

Somali militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the bombings on July 11, 2010. They targeted football fans at a restaurant and a rugby club in Kampala where that year's World Cup final was being televised.

The militants said the attacks were meant to press Uganda to withdraw its thousands of troops from the African Union mission fighting al-Shabab in Somalia.

The Kampala attacks were al-Shabab's first outside Somalia. The al-Qaida-linked group has since carried out numerous attacks in Kenya.

The verdicts end a trial that lasted several years and was disrupted by the murder of lead prosecutor Joan Kagezi in March 2015.

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