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30 Arrested in Tanzania Bombing

August 11, 1998

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania (AP) _ Police are questioning an Iraqi, a Sudanese and a Turk among dozens of others in connection with the terror bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Tanzania, an official said Tuesday.

Police spokesman Aden Mwanunyange said those arrested with the help of the FBI included at least 14 foreigners _ six Sudanese, six Iraqis, one Somali and a Turk. Nationalities were not available on all of the detainees, whom Mwanunyange described as ``dubious characters.″

Police announced 30 arrests Monday, but it wasn’t immediately clear whether the 14 foreigners were from that group.

Investigators have ``intelligence information that they may have taken part″ in the bombing, Mwanunyange said.

Home Affairs Minister Ali Ameir Mohamed, who oversees police work, said no charges have been filed.

``We cannot say we have got somebody who is really responsible,″ Ameir told The Associated Press. Nonetheless, ``we think we are doing well.″

Friday’s blast in Dar es Salaam, th e Tanzanian capital, killed nine Tanzanians and a Kenyan. More than 200 others were killed in a nearly simultaneous bomb attack on the U.S. Embassy in neighboring Kenya.

No arrests have been confirmed in the Nairobi bombing.

Tanzanian police and a team of FBI and counter-terrorism experts who flew in from the United States were interrogating those detained in Dar es Salaam, Ameir said.

A State Department security expert, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said investigators cannot get inside the damaged building yet because it’s unsafe. He aid the walls were being shored up.

He told reporters that, contrary to some reports, there are no video tapes of the blast. He said the embassy’s surveillance cameras, though functioning, were for monitoring and not for recording images on tape.

U.S., Kenyan and Tanzanian investigators have refused to discuss evidence they may have recovered from the blast sites, and have not said who they believe was responsible.

The FBI began investigating the exterior of the Dar es Salaam bomb site Tuesday after two days of studying the bodies and autopsy reports of those killed, Ameir said.

Ameir said he didn’t believe Tanzanians were responsible ``for such a horrible thing,″ but did not rule out that locals may have helped carry out the bombing.

Police have tightened security at the country’s exit points in case the bombers are still in the country and try to leave, he said.

Update hourly