Kenya on high alert after Uganda double suicide bombings

By Daily Nation

Kenya is on high alert following the two explosions that hit Kampala, Uganda on Tuesday morning.

The National Police Service (NPS) said security has been beefed up in all security installations and towns across the country and along the border points.

Members of the public have also been urged to stay alert and report any suspicious activities to the nearest police station or using the toll-free lines 999/112.

“The National Police Service (NPS) assures the public of their security and safety following terror-related incidents in our neighbouring country earlier today. Our sympathies to victims and families who were affected by such an atrocious act,” NPS posted on Twitter.

The blasts went off three minutes apart, with the first exploding at Central Police Station at 10.03am, killing two people and injuring 17, police spokesperson Fred Enanga told journalists in the Naguru suburb of Kampala.

The second blast, which killed one person and injured 16, went off on Parliament Avenue at 10.06am, detonated by two men riding two motorbikes, CCTV footage released by the police showed.

Five of the injured were in critical condition, including two police officers, the police said.

Three suicide bombers were involved in the attacks, while a fourth terrorist was intercepted en route to detonating the bomb.

The effects of the two blasts killed three civilians and caused injuries some severe to 33 others majority of whom were rushed to Mulago National Referral Hospital for further treatment.

“Our thoughts are with those who have lost their loved ones. We also wish a speedy recovery to the injured,” Uganda police spokesperson Fred Enanga said in a statement.

The Ugandan authorities have condemned the two attacks which they linked to radicalised groups attached to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a branch of the Islamic State (IS).

Suicide bombers

ADF is an Islamist rebel group in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo that is considered a terrorist organisation by the Ugandan government.

Noting that the explosives used in all the attacks were made from common household items, the spokesperson called on members of the public to exercise extra vigilance and voluntarily report suspicious activities such as persons buying large amounts of chemicals and materials that can be used to make bombs.

“It shows the groups still desire to carry out lethal attacks on soft targets using suicide bombers and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs),” he said.

The attacks happened barely three weeks after another explosion killed a waitress at a restaurant in the city after three suspects disguised as customers abandoned their package contained in a polythene bag under a table.

The Ugandan police force had earlier said that the explosion that occurred on October 24, had been caused by a crude device assembled using local materials composed of nails and other metallic fragments.

Composite photos of two of the three suspects have since been released to the public with those having information regarding their whereabouts being urged to report to the police.

On October 25, a suicide bomber exploded on a Swift Safaris bus killing two and injuring others along the Kampala-Masaka highway last month.

The suicide bomber was later identified as Isaac Matovu, a 23-year-old resident of Kireka who was on the local security’s wanted list for being a member of the ADF sleeper cells.

The bus was travelling from Kampala to Bushenyi with 50 passengers on board critically injured two persons including the attacker and the passenger who had occupied the seat behind the attacker and who was later identified as a local police officer.

Security agencies are now pursuing members of the terror groups.