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Africa Subsaharan
South African court convicts Nigerian terrorist
2013-01-21
A South African court found suspected Niger Delta militant leader Henry Okah guilty of terrorism on Monday for his role in two car bombs that killed at least 10 people in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, at an independence day ceremony in 2010.

Judge Neels Claassen said Okah, who was charged with leading the militant MEND group in Nigeria's oil-producing Niger Delta region, was found guilty on 13 counts ranging from conspiracy to commit terrorism to detonating explosives.

Claassen told the court, "The evidence that was given by his accomplices was not contradicted."

MEND, or the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, carried out a number of attacks on oilfields and pipelines across the region, which is home to Africa's biggest oil and gas industry, until a government amnesty in 2009.

Security experts think Okah - who accepted the 2009 amnesty after gun-running and treason charges against him were dropped - was at one time the mastermind behind MEND although he has denied ever being its leader.

The 2010 explosions hit the official celebrations laid on in Abuja for Nigeria's 50th anniversary of independence.
Posted by:ryuge

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