Twin blasts kill at least 23 in Ugandan capital – By Ben Simon (AFP)

July 11th, 2010 Print Print Email Email

KAMPALA — Explosions ripped through two restaurants in the Ugandan capital, killing at least 23 people including a US citizen, as crowds watched the World Cup final, police said, terming the blasts terrorist attacks. (more…)

KAMPALA — Explosions ripped through two restaurants in the Ugandan capital, killing at least 23 people including a US citizen, as crowds watched the World Cup final, police said, terming the blasts terrorist attacks.

The Inspector General of Ugandan police Kale Kayihura linked the explosions to recent threats by Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-inspired Shebab militia against countries that have sent troops to the African Union (AU) peace force there.

Shebab leader Mohamed Abdi Godane on July 5 accused the AU peacekeepers — comprising Ugandan and Burundian troops — of killing civilians in Mogadishu and called on Somalis to join the war against “the enemy of Allah”.

“You know there have been declarations from Shebab and Al-Qaida. Terrorism is a modern-day threat. You know the region we are in and our commitment in Somalia,” Kayihura said.

“Obviously this is terrorisn. That one is clear,” he added. “At this stage we can’t rule out anything.”

The explosions hit an Ethiopian restaurant in Kabalagala, a crowded suburb in the south of Kampala littered with several pubs popular with football fans, and a rugby sports club in the eastern region of the capital city.

“Here there are 13 dead,” said the police chief in reference to the Ethiopian restaurant, adding that “I can talk of deaths in the tens,” when asked about the toll at the sports club.

“These bombs were definitely targeting World Cup crowds,” Kayihura said.

One American national was among those killed in the attacks, a US embassy spokeswoman told AFP.

“At this time we can confirm that one American has been killed,” said Joann Lockard. “I have no further information about American citizens.”

An AFP correspondent saw three wounded US citizens at Kampala’s main Mulago hospital where dozens other injured people had been taken for treatment.

“We just wanted to watch the World Cup, unfortunately we went to the Ethiopian village,” said 18-year-old Chris Sledge who suffered serious injuries to his legs and a bruised eye. “I feel OK. Am gonna need surgery.”

US President Barack Obama called the deadly explosions “deplorable and cowardly”, National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer said in a statement.

“The United States is ready to provide any assistance requested by the Ugandan government,” he added.

A senior administration official said the United States was in contact with its embassy in Kampala and was in touch with the Federal Bureau of Investigation regarding requests for assistance from Uganda’s government.

It was not immediately clear who was behind the explosions or what anybody’s motivation could have been, but Kampala city police spokesman Idi Ssenkunzi said they suspected that the perpetrators detonated bombs.

Uganda became the first country to send troops to Somalia in early 2007 to prop up the war-torn country’s transitional government, which were later joined by Burundian forces.

The hardline militia have repeatedly attacked the AU peackeepers, killing scores and confining the fragile government’s control of Mogadishu to just a few blocks.

Last week, a regional bloc pledged to send additional 2,000 soldiers to Somalia to boost the AU peacekeepers’ strength to the required 8,100 troops, sparking belligerent reaction from the radical Islamist groups.

On Saturday, the leaders of Somalia’s two Islamist movements met for talks aimed at joining forces against the Western-backed government of President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed they are fighting to overthrow,

In Kampala, Uganda’s police chief urged residents to avoid huge gatherings.

“As we grapple to find out what could have caused this, I would appeal to members of the public to avoid big gatherings,” Kayihura said.

Several security officers went to the scenes of the blasts, blocked roads and cordoned off the buldings, an AFP correspondent reported.

  1. Anonymous
    | #1

    I felt deep sorry about the incident or the blast cause death and injury,all Ethiopian and USA citizen.

  2. Justice
    | #2

    This can be the work of TPLF, because it has been criticised by the USA for authoritarianism, so it has to show to the USA that there is a real danger in the region FOR THE INTEREST OF THE US than democracy in Ethiopia. SO now TPLf wants to change the subject from democracy in Ethiopia to security in the region, then the US drop its demand about democracy, and embrace the TPLF as an ally for security in the region.
    What do the Somali Islamist gain by putting a bomb in Ethiopian restaurant in Uganda, which may be owned by a refugee that run away against TPLF’s oppression in Ethiopia.

    I BELIEVE THE BOMB IN UGANDA IS THE WORK OF TPLF. It needs to be invistigated properly, than just pointing prematurely the finger on Somali-Islamists.

    From this incident, it will be the TPLF, a sole beneficial, not the Somali Islamists. So watch out the TPLF, which is now wants to change the debate in the Horn of Africa from Democracy to Security.

  3. Balcha
    | #3

    and Negarit Ethiopia reported it as follows:

    Eritrean Trained and Financed Somali Al-Shabab Group took responsibility for 74 World Cup fans die in Uganda blasts

    As the world sits and watches in total dismay and the Ethiopian Government is not willing to challenge the Eritrean Government for all regional instability, the Eritrean trained and financed Islamist insurgents from Somalia’s al-Shabab group have said they carried out twin attacks on people watching the World Cup final in Uganda’s capital, Kampala, which have left at least 74 people dead (Please see Eritrea Reportedly Arming AlShabab Militants, May 04, 2009 at

    Who are al-Shabab?
    Al-Shabab (The Youth) is a group of hardline Islamists which has admitted having links to al-Qaeda. There are numerous reports of foreign jihadists going to Somalia to help al-Shabab.
    It emerged from other Islamist militant groups who have been fighting in Somalia since 2006.
    They want to impose a strict version of Sharia law in Somalia, where they control most of the south and centre of the country, while the fragile UN-backed government only runs a few parts of the capital, Mogadishu.
    In areas under al-Shabab control, the group has carried out punishments such as stoning women accused of adultery to death and amputating the hands of thieves.

    Why would al-Shabab attack Uganda?
    Ugandan troops provide the bulk of the 5,000 African Union peacekeepers who are the only reason Somalia’s government has not been driven out of Mogadishu.
    Al-Shabab has previously threatened to stage revenge attacks inside Uganda.
    Just last week, the African Union agreed to boost its presence in Somalia with an extra 2,000 troops. Uganda said it would bolster its troop numbers – but only if it was allowed to have a stronger mandate, allowing it to carry the fight to al-Shabab.
    The UN is considering taking over the peacekeeping mission in Somalia but few countries have volunteered to send their troops to the lawless nation.
    This attack will also serve as a powerful reminder of the dangers involved to any countries considering sending troops to Somalia.
    Furthermore, one of the targets in Uganda was the Ethiopian Village restaurant. Ethiopian troops ousted a previous incarnation of al-Shabab from power in Mogadishu and installed the UN-backed government there.
    The authorities in Burundi – the other country which has sent AU peacekeepers to Somalia – and Kenya – which is training forces for the Somali government and has a large ethnic Somali population – will no doubt be very worried.
    Kampala is due to host an African Union summit later this month and this attack will increase security concerns for that, although the authorities say it will go ahead as planned.

    What is happening in Somalia?
    Somalia is pretty much a failed state. It has not had an effective national government for about 20 years, during which much of the country has been a constant war-zone.
    This has made it fairly easy for al-Qaeda to establish links with local Islamist groups.
    The US has carried out a number of air strikes and air raids against alleged al-Qaeda targets in the country.
    There are reports of terror training camps in Somalia while foreign jihadists are believed to have travelled to Somalia to help al-Shabab.
    Previous terror attacks in East Africa have had links to Somalia and like the ones in Uganda have featured two incidents at the same time.
    The 2002 twin attacks on Israeli targets near the Kenyan resort of Mombasa were allegedly planned in Somalia by an al-Qaeda cell, while the US believes some of the al-Qaeda operatives who carried out the 1998 attacks on its embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam then fled to Somalia.
    Posted by siyosedq at 8:17 PM 0 comments

  4. እንባጫ ፉፋ
    | #4

    እግዚህአቤር ነፍሳቸውን ይማር::

  5. Truth
    | #5

    This has woyane finger print all over it. Only the despicable woyane security has the will and access to do such evil as they try to terrorize the Ethiopian community in Kampala

  6. Aba Beru
    | #6

    I would like to express my condolences to the family and friends of people who perished by this barbaric and coward act regardless of their nationality. May the Almaghty God rest their souls in peace.

  7. Aba Biya Abba Gobbu
    | #7

    Hellow Fellow Ethiopians,

    Many Ethiopians are the victim of the TPLF mercinary enemy of Ethiopia. Al Shebab is fighting for their cause whether we like or not. They have the right to fight their percieved enemies wre ever they are. The Ethiopians need to learn from Al Shebab instead of begging. The Ethiopians are getting cowards and beggars. By begging foreign powers Ethiopia shall never be free. Learn from Al Shebab, don`t involve in critising Al Shebab inorder to please the masters of the TPLF kuncho. Learn how to fight instead of begging. Ethiopia Prevails.

  8. Mebrate Million
    | #8

    My very deep condolences for the family and friends of those who have lost their loved ones in these terrible blasts.

    This must be thoroughly investigated.Is Alshabab the cause? Does the cynical Melese regime have a hand in this as some allege? Is Isayas’s restless Eritrea involved? Are there any other unscrupulous actors taking part? What are the motives? Questions,questions must be asked and
    as far the answers are concerned,one should not arrive at premature and glib conclusions.It is impossible to overemphasise this.

    Who ever the perpetrators are,this is a very reprehensible act and the authors of these carnage must be dealt with firmly.That is to say, measures taken against them should demonstrate that fair punishment is meted out and justice is done.

    One must,however,go beyond this.Lasting solutions must be sought for the compounded problems of the region plagued by anarchy,dictatorship,
    terrorism,poverty,ethnic instability and corruption.
    Those big powers particularly the U.S,who are concerned about the volatile situation of the region must not just focus on Somalia alone.They should not benefit but deal with the stubborn and opportunist dictatorships who want to profit by the anarchy in Somalia while at the same time economically strengthen these countries.
    Of all the countries in the region,I think,the tiny Djibouti offers a bigger hope.
    By building up the strategic Djibouti like one of those economically and financially successful Gulf States,the Americans could use it as a showcase in the region for stability and economic development.
    They could send the significant message and help change the trend that it is not endemic war,which has so far been the mainstay of dictatorships,that pays but the new path of economic and financial development.

    There is no doubt that our enterprising and hardworking people whose potentials have been stifled by oppressive regimes will be hugely receptive to these kinds of developments and enormously benefit by them.

    A new ‘Marshall’ plan coupled with good governance is therefore needed for this troubled spot of Africa.

  9. Anonymous
    | #9

    I always have an open mind to respect others no matter where they come from and what their religion might be, but, today all that changed, from today forward, my eyes, my mind and my heart are open to see what these Somalis and other Islam terrorists are all about…Pure Hate, Distractions and Devilish. No one else was able to convince me in the past to hate these bastards, but, now they touched my nerves, they killed my poor Ethiopians who were trying to get peace away from tyrant Meles, from here on, their own actions convinced me and taught me to hate these soulless hateful Satanic people. Blowing up innocent people and destroying the business of hardworking Ethiopian refuges is a work of Lucifer not the Loving God. I am sure the number of Ethiopians they have blown-up might be more than four, but think also the parents, siblings, grandparents and relatives of their victims—these Islamic Somalis put the victims family through a living Hell for the rest of their lives! These chaotic immoral and worthless confused Sobs should be nuked, so that the rest of the world can live in peace. No matter how much they are educated, it is impossible to get the poison out of there hate-infected heads. The 9/11 bombers were well educated and yet they justify burning innocent people…there is no good enough explanations for their actions it is just—Satanic Behaviors!!

  10. angery–refugy
    | #10

    hey Al-shebabe donot kill refuges go fight with TPLF army .

    i am very angry about this barbaric action.if this is done by Somalian Islamic Alshebabe.
    we will revenge ,remember Somalian are every where

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