An Islamist extremist group, known as the “Islamic State” (IS) have claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing in the heart of Uganda’s capital Kampala on Tuesday that killed several people and injured scores more.
At least three civilians were killed and 33 others wounded in twin suicide bombings that took place within three minutes of each other on Tuesday and were carried out by three suicide bombers, police spokesman Fred Enanga told a news conference.
Police initially blamed the attacks on Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a local Islamist extremist group with ties to the “Islamic State” (IS), but the terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attack via its Amaq news agency on Telegram.
IS identified the bomber that carried out the first attack at a police checkpoint as Abu Sabr al-Ugandi, and gave the names of the two others who carried out a separate bombing together near the National Assembly as Abu Shahid al-Ugandi and Abu Abdul-Rahman al-Ugandi.
The attacks follow two recent bombings in Kampala. Last month a number of people were wounded in a blast on a long-distance bus in Mpigi District and a woman was killed in a bombing at a roadside eatery in Komamboga.
Ugandan security officials have now urged the general public to be vigilant in the wake of a series of bomb explosions in recent weeks.
One person was killed and at least seven others wounded in an explosion at a restaurant in a suburb of Kampala on October 23. Another explosion two days later on a passenger bus killed only the suicide bomber, according to police.
Alex Atuhaire, a journalist at the Kampala Report, said the involvement of Ugandan forces in peacekeeping activities in the region “makes Uganda a target for some of these groups”.
“The situation in Kampala is delicate at the moment. The way the attacks have been carried out [suggests] the matter is very, very serious,” Atuhaire said.
ADF claimed responsibility for the restaurant attack last month. The group has long been opposed to the rule of longtime President Museveni, a US security ally who was the first African leader to deploy peacekeepers in Somalia to protect the federal government from the al-Shabab armed group.