Saturday, 27 November, 2021
E-paper

One killed in Uganda blast

KAMPALA: Police in Uganda on Saturday said one person had died and seven others were injured in a "serious blast" in the capital Kampala, reports AFP.

The explosion occurred at around 9 pm (1800 GMT) at a popular streetside restaurant strip in Kawempe in northern Kampala.

"The police... have responded to a serious blast which occurred... at around 9 pm, at Digida eating point," Uganda Police Force spokesman Fred Enanga said in a statement posted on Twitter late Saturday.

"One person has been fatally wounded and seven others rushed to Mulago National Referral hospital, with serious injuries.

"The scene has been cordoned off, and our joint task teams from the bomb squad called to thoroughly document the scene, to help determine whether the explosion arose out of an intentional act or not."

Police were asking the public to remain calm until the "true circumstances" surrounding the explosion were clear.

A nationwide coronavirus curfew is in effect from 7 pm in Uganda but is not uniformly enforced.

On October 8, the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for an alleged bomb attack against a police post in Kawempe, near where Saturday's explosion occurred.

No blast or any injuries were reported by authorities or local media at the time, though police later confirmed a minor incident had occurred.

Both the UK and France have since updated their travel advice for Uganda, urging vigilance in crowded areas and public places like restaurants, bars and hotels.

"Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Uganda. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners," stated the updated advice from the UK.

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