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US `Deeply Concerned' About Arrest of Ugandan Opposition Leader

The United States says it is "deeply concerned" about the arrest of Ugandan opposition leader Kizza Besigye and is calling for his treason trial to be completed before elections set for next year.

In a statement, the U.S. Embassy in Kampala urged Uganda's government to examine the basis for the charges against Mr. Besigye. It also asked Uganda to honor its commitments under the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights.

Mr. Besigye and 22 others were arrested Monday, accused of planning to topple the government.

He has applied for bail but failed to appear for his hearing Wednesday before the nation's High Court. Fourteen of his 22 co-defendants were granted bail but later returned to prison after being confronted by armed men outside the court.

Mr. Besigye returned to Uganda last month after four years in exile. He was expected to be incumbent President Yoweri Museveni's toughest challenger in next year's election.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters.