2 explosions hit the Ugandan capital, killing 3

KAMPALA, Uganda – Two explosions rocked the Ugandan capital, Kampala, early Tuesday, killing at least three civilians in what police des...

KAMPALA, Uganda – Two explosions rocked the Ugandan capital, Kampala, early Tuesday, killing at least three civilians in what police described as a coordinated attack by extremists.

Three suicide bombers also died in the blasts, police said, with witnesses reporting one was near a police station and the other on a street near Parliament. The explosions wreaked havoc in Kampala as terrified residents fled the city center.

“Bomb threats are still active, especially from suicide bombings,” said police spokesman Fred Enanga, attributing the blasts to the Allied Democratic Forces, an Islamic extremist group.

The two explosions occurred three minutes apart. Both were carried out by assailants carrying explosives. A possible attack on a third target was foiled by police who pursued and disarmed a suspected suicide bomber, Enanga said.

The explosion near Parliament appeared to strike closer to a building housing an insurance company, and the ensuing fire engulfed cars parked outside. Body parts were seen strewn across the street, and lawmakers were later seen evacuating the nearby parliament building.

At least 33 people were being treated at the city’s main public referral hospital, Enanga told reporters. Five are seriously injured, he said.

People rushed to leave the city in the wake of the attacks, many on touring motorcycles, as police cordoned off large areas near the scenes of the blast, videos posted on social media showed.

Ugandan officials have called for vigilance following a series of bomb explosions in recent weeks.

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

Two days later, another explosion on a passenger bus killed only the suicide bomber, police said.

Even before these attacks, the British government had updated its Uganda travel advisory to warn that extremists “are very likely to try to carry out attacks” in this East African country.

The Allied Democratic Forces, a subsidiary of the Islamic State group in Central Africa, claimed responsibility for the attack on the restaurant.

This group has long opposed the rule of President Yoweri Museveni, a United States security ally who was the first African leader to deploy peacekeepers to Somalia to protect the federal government from the extremist group Al Shabab.

In retaliation for the deployment of Ugandan troops in Somalia, Al Shabab carried out attacks in 2010 who killed at least 70 people who had gathered in public places in Kampala to watch a World Cup soccer match.

But the Allied Democratic Forces, with their local roots, turned out to be more of a headache for Mr. Museveni.

The group was formed in the early 1990s by Ugandan Muslims who said they had been sidelined by Mr. Museveni’s policies. At the time, the rebel group had organized deadly terrorist attacks in Ugandan villages as well as the capital, including a 1998 bombing in which 80 students were massacred in a border town near the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

A Ugandan military assault then forced the rebels into eastern Congo, where many rebel groups can move around freely because the central government has limited control there.

Reports of an alliance between the Allied Democratic Forces and the Islamic State first surfaced in 2019, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks the online activities of extremist organizations.

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Newsrust - US Top News: 2 explosions hit the Ugandan capital, killing 3
2 explosions hit the Ugandan capital, killing 3
Newsrust - US Top News
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