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Two arrested over the murder of Ugandan Athlete Benjamin Kiplagat

Police in Eldoret Sunday arrested two suspects linked to the murder of an athlete whose body was found in a car in the town.

The suspects include a boda boda rider.

The runner was identified as 37-year-old Benjamin Kiplagat.

Moiben sub county police commander Stephen Okal confirmed the arrests.

He said a knife suspected to have been used to stab the athlete was recovered from the suspects.

Okal said the motive of the killing appeared to be a criminal incident and that a mobile phone and money were stolen from the deceased.

But further investigations are ongoing, he said.

The police said the two have been positively identified to have been linked to the incident.

Okal said the two were wanted criminals who had been tormenting residents of the ara for long.

Kiplagat has been competing for Uganda where he holds the 3,000m steeplechase.

The body of the athlete was found with a deep knife cut on the neck.

The body was found in a car at Texas area near Kimumu Secondary school along the Eldoret-Iten Road.

An abandoned motorcycle was also found next to the vehicle.

The car in which the body was found initially belonged to his brother car and they both live in the same area.

Police said he had been attending a meeting with fellow athletes near Nyaru area in Elgeyo Marakwet before he left at about midnight on Sunday.

He had also attended to a group of masons who were working on a site in the area.

Athletics Kenya (AK) officials led by Barnabas Korir mourned the death of the athlete and urged the police to speed up investigations and bring to book his killers.

He had previously represented Uganda at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016.

The deceased athlete had competed in a series of competitions including the Shanghai Samsung Diamond League, Lausanne Athletissima in Switzerland, Paris Meeting Areva and Hengelo Fanny Blankers-Koen Games in the Netherlands.

He began by competing in the 10,000 metres, but on the advice of his coach, he dropped down to the 1500 meters and 5000 meters and later steeplechase.

According to the World Athletics Rankings, he was placed 38th overall in the Men’s 3,000 metre Steeplechase.

Credit: Kahawatungu

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