Uganda stripped of cricket tournament 'over security concerns'

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Uganda's batsmen pictured in 2007Image source, AFP
Image caption,
Uganda, an ICC associate member since 1998, won the Division Three World Cricket League in 2007

Uganda has been stripped of the right to host the ICC World Cricket League Division Three tournament because of security concerns.

The six-nation competition, which includes a US team, was to be held from 26 October to 2 November.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) said the tournament would be moved to the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur.

Earlier this month, Ugandan police said they had seized explosives from a suspected Islamist militant cell.

The authorities said the suspected members of the Somali al-Shabab group were planning to carry out attacks in the capital, Kampala.

The raids followed a warning from the US embassy in Kampala of possible revenge attacks against US targets in response to the air strike in Somalia on 2 September which killed al-Shabab's leader, Ahmed Abdi Godane.

Ugandan troops are part of the African Union force in Somalia that is fighting al-Shabab.

Its fighters were behind twin blasts that killed 76 football fans who were watching TV coverage of the World Cup final in Kampala in July 2010.

"The safety and security of players and officials is of paramount importance to the ICC," David Richardson, the chief executive of cricket's governing body, said in a statement.

"And despite the excellent co-operation received from the Ugandan government and the Uganda Cricket Association, due to recent events beyond the control of the ICC and the Uganda Cricket Association, we were ultimately uncertain if a secure environment could still be provided," he said.

The other teams competing in the event are Bermuda, Malaysia, Nepal and Singapore.

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