Two explosions rocked the Ugandan capital Kampala, killing 3

Two explosions rocked the Ugandan capital Kampala, killing 3

Kampala Two explosions rocked the Ugandan capital Kampala on Tuesday, killing at least three civilians in what police described as a coordinated attack by anti-government extremists.

Police said three suicide bombers were also killed in the blasts. The explosions caused chaos in Kampala as terrified residents fled the city centre.

“Bomb threats remain active, especially from suicide bombers,” said police spokesman Fred Inanga, who blamed the bombings on the Allied Democratic Forces, an Islamic State extremist group.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the bombings, according to SITE Intelligence, which tracks the activities of extremist organizations on the Internet.

The two double explosions occurred within three minutes of each other. Both were carried out by attackers carrying explosives. Inanga said police thwarted a possible attack on a third target, chased after and disarmed a suicide bomber.

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Police released security video footage of the exact moments when the bombers detonated their devices in the streets, sending clouds of white smoke into the air. Among the dead were police officers.

“Thank God. He protected us,” said eyewitness Jane Bean near one of the scenes of the explosion.

Police and eyewitnesses stated that one took place near a police station and the other on a street near the parliament building. The explosion near Parliament appeared to hit the nearest building housing an insurance company, and subsequent fires broke out in cars parked outside. Body parts were seen scattered in the street, after which some lawmakers were seen evacuating the nearby parliament building.

Inanga told reporters that at least 33 people were receiving treatment at the city’s main general referral hospital. He said five were seriously injured.

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Footage posted on social media showed that people rushed to leave the city in the wake of the attacks, many of them on passenger motorcycles, as police cordoned off large areas near the blast sites.

The US embassy condemned the bombings “in the strongest terms”, expressing its condolences to the families of the victims.

“The United States’ support for the Ugandan people is unwavering as we work toward our common goal of a secure, democratic and prosperous Uganda,” she said in a statement posted on Twitter.

Ugandan officials are urging vigilance in the wake of a spate of bombings in recent weeks.

One person was killed and at least seven others were injured in an explosion in a restaurant in a suburb of Kampala on October 23.

Police said another explosion two days later in a passenger bus killed only the bomber.

Even before those attacks, the UK government had updated its travel advisory for Uganda to say that extremists were “highly likely to attempt to carry out attacks” in the East African country.

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The Allied Democratic Forces, affiliated with the Islamic State in Central Africa, claimed responsibility for the attack on the restaurant. Police spokesman Inanga said Tuesday’s attacks bore “the hallmarks” of this group’s work, although there was no immediate claim of responsibility.

He said at least 150 planned attacks had recently been defused, describing a “domestic terrorist group” eager to carry out more attacks.

The ADF has long opposed the rule of President Yoweri Museveni, a security ally of the United States who was the first African leader to deploy peacekeepers to Somalia to protect the federal government from the extremist group al-Shabab. In response to Uganda’s deployment of troops in Somalia, the group carried out attacks in 2010 that killed at least 70 people who gathered in public places in Kampala to watch a soccer World Cup match.

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But the Allied Democratic Forces, with their local roots, have become a more pressing challenge to Museveni, 77, who has ruled Uganda for 35 years and was re-elected to a five-year term in January.

The group was founded in the early 1990s by some Ugandan Muslims, who said Museveni’s policies had marginalized them. At the time, the rebel group launched deadly terrorist attacks in Ugandan villages as well as in the capital, including a 1998 attack that killed 80 students in a border town near the Congo border.

Subsequently, a Ugandan military offensive forced the rebels into eastern Congo, where many rebel groups can roam freely because central government control there is limited.

Reports of an alliance between the Allied Democratic Forces and ISIS first surfaced in 2019, according to SITE.

Uganda is predominantly Christian and Muslims make up about 14% of the country’s population of 44 million.

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