International Security

ISIS Claims Responsibility For Uganda’s Twin Bomb Attack

Islamic State (ISIS) claimed an attack in the heart of Uganda’s capital on Tuesday after three suicide bombers killed three people and sent members of parliament running for cover, in the latest in a wave of bombings.

The police had earlier blamed the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), an armed group active in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo blamed for a string of recent attacks in Uganda and which Washington has linked to ISIS.

Two suicide bombers on motorbikes – disguised as local “boda boda” motorcycle taxi drivers – detonated a device near the entrance to parliament, killing a passer-by on Tuesday. A third attacker targeted a checkpoint near the central police station, killing two people, police spokesman Fred Enanga said.

The explosions in Kampala’s central business district occurred within minutes of each other, shortly after 10am, and left “bodies shattered and scattered”, he said.

Police foiled a third attack, recovering an improvised explosive device from the home of an alleged suicide bomber who was shot and wounded.

The Ugandan Red Cross said 21 of the 33 people wounded were police officers.
The attacks follow two blasts last month – a bus explosion near Kampala that wounded many people and a bombing at a roadside eatery in the capital that killed one woman.

Uganda has also blamed the group for a foiled bomb attack in August on the funeral of an army commander who led a major offensive against al-Shabab militants in Somalia.

The ADF, historically a Ugandan rebel group, has been accused of killing thousands of civilians in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

“It’s increasingly clear that the ADF is refocusing its attention on Uganda,” said Kristof Titeca, an expert on the group at the University of Antwerp.

The ADF is considered by experts to be the bloodiest of more than 120 armed groups that roam eastern DRC, many of them a legacy of two regional wars a quarter of a century ago.

In 2010, twin bombings in Kampala targeting fans watching the World Cup final left 76 people dead, with al-Shabab claiming responsibility.

The attack was seen as revenge for Uganda sending troops to Somalia as part of an African Union mission to confront al-Shabab.

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