Tanzania releases UAE, Saudi citizens held over church bombing


Tanzania has released three Emiratis and one Saudi held in connection with the bombing of a church this month and charged a local man with murder, Tanzanian police said.

Three people were killed in the attack on the Catholic church in Arusha, north Tanzania. More than 60 were injured.

Tanzania police said in a statement on Monday that the four had been released without charge after investigations proved they were not involved in the bombing, Reuters reports.

Arusha regional police commander Liberatus Sabas said 20-year-old Tanzanian Victor Ambros Kalist was charged on Monday with murder and attempted murder in connection with the attack.

A total of nine suspects, including the four foreigners, were initially arrested by the police following the May 5 incident.

The UAE Foreign Ministry had announced on its Twitter account that the Emiratis had been released late on Sunday.

The Saudi citizen was also released and was not charged with any offence, Saudi Arabia’s state news agency reported late on Sunday, citing the assistant minister for foreign affairs.

Sabas said Kenya and Uganda were helping with the investigation and 31 injured were still being treated in hospital.

Tanzania, a nation of about 45 million people, is roughly split evenly between Muslims and Christians. Tensions between the religious communities are on the rise.

Earlier this year, two Christian leaders were killed in Tanzania’s semi-autonomous, predominantly Muslim islands of Zanzibar and there have been attacks on Muslim leaders and mosques.

Arusha lies near the snow-capped peak of Mount Kilimanjaro in a part of Tanzania that is predominantly Christian.