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Kenya: Suspects in murder of athlete Benjamin Kiplagat appear in court

Uganda's Benjamin Kiplagat the Men's 3000m Steeplechase at the World Athletics Championships in Daegu, South Korea, Monday, Aug. 29, 2011.   -  
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Anja Niedringhaus/AP2011


Two suspects arrested in connection with the killing of Ugandan Benjamin Kiplagat appeared in court in Western Kenya on Tuesday (Jan.02).

The two males were arraigned in Eldoret law courts for a miscellaneous application. 

The court directed that both David Lokere and Peter Khalumi be held at Eldoret Central police station for 21 days as the police undertakes investigations.

The police also say they arrested the two in possession of the alleged murder weapon and which they say they need time to undertake forensic analysis. 

The suspects were arrested with the aid of a CCTV footage.

Benjamin Kiplagat was staying in Kenya while undertaking his training in Eldoret town. The case will be mentioned on 24th January this year.  

The men were arrested Monday on the outskirts of the town of Eldoret. The body of the late Olympic champion had been discovered on Sunday (Dec. 31).

Moiben Police Commander Stephen Okal said the body of Benjamin Kiplagat was found in a car near Kimumu Secondary school along the Eldoret-Iten road a six-hour drive west of Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi.

The 34-year-old steeplechase runner was stabbed in his brother's car. 

Okal told the press that money and a cell phone had been taken from the athlete's body.

As a long-distance runner, Kiplagat specialized in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. He represented Uganda in six World Athletics Championships and at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics.

The Kenyan-born reached the semi-finals of the 2012 London Olympics.

"It is with profound sorrow that we mourn the loss of Benjamin Kiplangat," the Uganda Athletics Federation wrote in a statement on Monday.

Athletics Kenya official Barnabas Korir mourned the athlete's death.

“We urge the police to speed up investigations and ... book his killers,” Korir said.

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