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Islamic State claims Kampala bomb attack

Monday October 25 2021
komamboga

The scene of the October 22, 2021 night bomb attack in Komamboga, Kampala was sealed off. PHOTO | MICHAEL KAKUMIRIZI | NMG

By AFP
By DAILY MONITOR

The Islamic State (IS) group on Monday claimed responsibility for a deadly bombing at a restaurant in Uganda at the weekend that police called an 'act of domestic terrorism'.

The improvised explosive device or IED was detonated at Uncle Sam’s and Ronnie’s Pork joints at about 9pm, killing waitress Emily Nyinaneza, 20, and injuring scores in northern Kampala on Saturday evening.

Police said the crude bomb left underneath a table indicated the work of an unsophisticated local outfit, and played down any connection to foreign networks.

Mr Fred Enanga, the police spokesperson, told a press conference at the force's headquarters in Naguru, that the IED had bicycle hub bearings, nails, metallic pieces and explosives, suggesting it was homemade.

“Moments after, the explosion occurred, covering a radius of five square metres. This indicates that the suspects ultimately detonated the improvised explosive device after leaving the scene,” Mr Enanga said.

Investigators said that three men are suspected to have carried out the attack. 

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According to witness accounts, the suspects appeared to be jovial and interacted freely with other merrymakers and even bought alcohol for some at the joint that was operating past curfew hour and despite a presidential ban.

The suspects are said to have left the IED near a wall and walked away to set off the blast.

Claims responsibility

In a message sent via its communication channels, the Islamic State's Central Africa Province said it carried out the attack, and claimed it killed two people and injured five.

"A security detachment from the soldiers of the Caliphate was able to detonate an explosive device inside a tavern in which elements and spies for the Crusader Ugandan army were gathered," read part of the statement quoted by the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors militant communications.

On October 8, IS claimed its first attack in Uganda, alleging a unit from the same Central Africa operation bombed a police post in Kampala that resulted in injuries.

No explosion or any injuries were reported by authorities or local media at the time, though police later confirmed a minor incident had occurred without providing further details.

However, in the following days, both Britain and France updated their travel advice, saying terrorists were "very likely to try and carry out attacks in Uganda" and urging vigilance in crowded areas.

Read: UK issues Uganda terror alert

In 2010, twin bombings in Kampala targeting fans watching the World Cup final left 76 people dead.

Somalia's Al-Shabaab militant group claimed responsibility for the blasts at a restaurant and at a rugby club.

The attack, the first outside Somalia by Al-Shabaab, was seen as revenge for Uganda sending troops to the war-torn country as part of an African Union mission to confront the insurgents.

Condolences

President Yoweri Museveni on Sunday vowed that those responsible for the latest attack would be caught and expressed condolences to those killed and injured.

Mr Museveni imposed a 7pm to 6am curfew in March last year and ordered the closures of bars and discotheques to curb the spread of Covid-19.

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