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Uganda: Explosions rock capital Kampala

November 16, 2021

Several people have died in twin blasts in the Ugandan capital. "Islamic State" has claimed responsibility for the deadly attacks.

A view shows smoke and motorcycle taxis near the scene of a blast in Kampala, Uganda
Kampala was hit by a deadly explosion less than a month agoImage: Abubaker Lubowa/REUTERS

Two blasts from suicide attacks shook the capital of the Ugandan capital Kampala on Tuesday, local witnesses said.

The first explosion occurred outside a police station. The second was close to the parliamentary building but appeared to be targeting another structure housing an insurance company.

The three suicide attackers as well as three other people were killed and another 33 were injured, police spokesperson Fred Enanga told Ugandan NBS Television.

Later on Tuesday, "Islamic State" extremists took credit for the attack via their Amaq news agency.

Large plumes of smoke

Videos shared on social media showed cars engulfed in flames, large plumes of smoke and debris scattered across the street.

Witnesses also reportedly saw lawmakers evacuating the area of the parliamentary building, national broadcaster UBC said.

Security forces have cordoned off both scenes and Tuesday's parliamentary session was called off.

Police said they had foiled another possible attack after chasing down and disarming a suspected suicide bomber.

Another video showed people running away from the scene of one of the blasts.

Warnings ahead of the attack

Emmanuel Ainebyoona, a spokesperson for the ministry of health, said on Twitter that a local hospital was "currently attending to about 24 causalities. Reports indicate four are in critical condition."

Enanga blamed Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a group with connections to the so-called "Islamic State," for the blasts, saying "the hallmarks [of the attacks] are consistent with the ADF."

Ugandan soldiers have been fighting against al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab forces in Somalia.

The ADF also claimed responsibility for an attack that killed one and injured several others at a restaurant in Kampala on October 23.

The militant group was originally founded by Ugandan Muslims but has since moved its main bases into the mountainous forests of the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.

ab/dj (AFP, AP, Reuters, EFE)