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Irish woman killed in bomb restaurant

FRIENDS of a Dublin woman killed in the Uganda bombings left the restaurant minutes before the explosion hit -- but tragically she stayed behind.

Arrangements were today being finalised for the body of Marie Smith (52) to be formally identified.

Ms Smith, who is believed to have two children, was one of 74 people killed in the Ugandan capital of Kampala by blasts on Sunday.

The first explosion, at an Ethiopian restaurant popular with expatriates, left 15 dead, including Marie.

Less than 20 minutes later, another blast hit a crowded rugby club where hundreds had gathered to watch the World Cup final between Spain and the Netherlands.

Somali Islamists linked to al-Qa'ida have claimed responsibility for the two bombings.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said it has been in contact with Ms Smith's family and arrangements were being made to formally identify her remains.



Detonated

It is understood she had been living in South Africa for the last number of years.

Her friends left the restaurant a short time before the bombs detonated at around 10.15pm and returned to their hotel.

They raised the alarm the next morning after discovering Marie was not in her room.

It is thought she had two grown-up sons, one of whom lives in Brazil while the other lives in South Africa.

Ms Smith was among Americans, Ugandans, Ethiopians and Eritreans killed.

Foreign Affairs Minister Micheal Martin said he was "horrified and saddened" at the "appalling" loss of life.

Al-Shabaab, a group which claims to have links with al-Qa'ida and is fighting the Western-backed Somali government, claimed responsibility for its first successful foreign strike.

hnews@herald.ie


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