Three Bomb Blasts in Kampala Kill More than 50 People

5249 Views Kampala, Uganda
Three bomb explosions have gone off in Kampala tonight. The bombs all exploded at public spaces where the final of the football World Cup match were being played. The attacks, timed to go off almost simultaneously, struck at about just after 10:30 pm shortly after the second half of play. Two bomb blasts went off at the Lugogo Rugby Club in Kampala where more than 40 people are confirmed dead. Shortly after that a blast went off at the Ethiopian Village in Kabalagala, a popular entertainment venue, where 13 people were killed. The full number of dead is yet to be ascertained. However Abas Byakagaba, head of the police anti-terrorism unit, says the fatalities could rise through the night. The motive of the attacks is unclear. Moses Sakira, the Deputy Director of CID in charge of investigations, says the larger blasts occurred at the rugby grounds in Lugogo. He says the impact of the blast was so huge that people died in their chairs. He says parts of bodies are strewn around the area and it is hard to tell exactly how many people died. Sakira says the dead from Lugogo have been taken to Mulago National Referral Hospital. James Kiwanuka was one of the guests at the Ethiopian Village in Kabalagala. He says he was seated near the entrance of Ethiopian Village when the bombs went off. The bomb appears to have been placed at the center of the compound where about 200 people were watching an open-air screening of the match in South Africa. Kiwanuka says those, who like him were seated on the sidelines, were not hit by the shrapnel. There was a strong smell of burning flesh and smoke at the scene when a Uganda Radio Network reporter visited the area at about 12:30 at night. The police bomb squad was combing the area in the hope of finding clues of the bomb. Most of the injured and dead were rushed to nearby hospitals to receive care. The Inspector General of Police, Kale Kayihura, was at the scene in Kabalagala until about 1:00 a.m. He was at a loss for words at the tragedy and sat on the pavement by the road near the Ethiopian Village, visibly shocked by what happened. The Incident Commander at the Kabalagala site, who asked for his identity not to be revealed, says the bomb at Kabalagala was stronger than a grenade. He was unable to specify at the time what had been used to cause the blast. The Eritrean and Ethiopian community that live around Kabalagala milled around the bomb site, shocked by what they saw. Towards 1:00 a.m. security officers from the U.S. Embassy in Kampala arrived in Kabalagala. Kayihura was heard placing a formal request to the embassy to help with forensics. It is not clear exactly why the Americans would help in this respect. However it can be ascertained that four of the dead were foreigners, but their citizenship cannot be confirmed. Kayihura also met with the proprietor of the Ethiopian Village and the Ethiopian Ambassador to Uganda. It is not known what he discussed with them.


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