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Uganda presents bombing suspects to reporters

By the CNN Wire Staff
Suspect Idris Nsubuga, right, says, "I didn't know the impact of those explosives."
Suspect Idris Nsubuga, right, says, "I didn't know the impact of those explosives."
  • One of the suspects called himself and "evil man"
  • Uganda government raised the death toll from the July attacks to 79
  • An official says, "We have apprehended all those who are responsible" for the attack
  • A Ugandan official said he believes the four suspects are members of al Qaeda
  • Uganda
  • Africa
  • Terrorism

(CNN) -- The Ugandan government paraded four suspects in last month's deadly bombings in Kampala before reporters Thursday, with one of the men calling himself an "evil man."

"I know no one can believe that I did this evil," said one suspect, Idris Nsubuga, who spoke at a press conference organized by government officials. "...But deep down in me I broke down -- honestly I didn't know the impact of those explosives."

A series of bomb blasts that Ugandan police say were likely set off by suicide bombers tore through an Ethiopian restaurant and a rugby center during a World Cup match July 11, killing 79 people.

The government raised the death toll, which it had previously set at 76, on Thursday.

"Now before you I have these four individuals, they are all Ugandans, and these are the ones who are responsible for the execution of the operation," Uganda's chief military intelligence officer, James Mugira, said at the Thursday press conference.

"We have apprehended all those who are responsible for financing, planning and execution of the operation," he said.

Uganda announced last month that it had charged three people in connection with the bomb blasts, saying they were extradited from Kenya. At a separate press conference Thursday, Ugandan Maj. Gen. Kale Kayihura said he believed the four men presented on are members of al Qaeda.

One of the suspects cried at Thursday's event. Nsubuga, 30, recalled his thoughts and actions on the night of the bombings.

"I was tense -- I called a friend just to relieve myself of the tension just to know how the match was," he said, referring to his time waiting at the rugby center and wondering about the World Cup finals.

"I had just finished talking to that friend a few minutes passed, and that's when the first blast went off," Nsubuga said. "It scared me, and I reached in my pocket and pulled out the other phone and called that number."

That call triggered another bomb.

"I want to extend my sincere apologies to the families and friends of all those who perished in that tragic night," Nsubuga said.

"I thought by answering this call my life would be better," he said. "But it changed it entirely -- I've never been the same since then."

The Al-Shabaab militant group, which is currently battling the weak transitional government in war-torn Somalia, has claimed responsibility for the bombings. Members of the group have said they were acting in retaliation for Uganda's contribution of troops for peacekeeping operations in Somalia, which has been at war for nearly two decades.

Authorities in Uganda and Kenya previously said they had made more than 20 arrests in connection with the blasts.