Uganda bus blast a 'suicide bomb attack', says police

ISIS claims responsibility for Saturday night explosion of one bar and restaurant for Uganda Kampala [Photo: Reuters]

KAMPALA, Uganda - For the second time in as many days, authorities in Uganda reported a bomb blast, raising questions about the East Africa nation's preparedness in the fight against violent extremism, which seems to be taking shape within the region.

In terms of counterterrorism, Uganda has been one of the most effective countries within the Horn and East Africa, but the two explosions within days apart could prove to be just the beginning of worst days in the coming months.

Police spokesperson Fred Enanga said a suicide explosion hit a bus in Lungala, central Uganda on Monday evening, leaving one person dead and scores injured. The bus was travelling from the capital Kampala to Bushenyi.

"A team of bomb experts has been dispatched to Lungala, along the Kampala-Masaka highway, after a deadly explosion occurred on a bus belonging to Swift Safaris Bus company under registration number UAU 989T, at around 5pm . The bus was traveling from Kampala to Bushenyi," he said.

"So far one person has been confirmed dead and several other victims including injured persons being evacuated from the scene. The explosion comes three days after the bomb attack in Komamboga," he added.

The scene, he noted, was cordoned off pending a thorough assessment and investigation by the bomb experts. "We shall periodically give updates surrounding the incident," added the police spokesperson.

Komamboga explosion on Saturday also left one person dead, in what was a terror-related attack in Uganda after almost a decade. The Islamist State fighters claimed responsibility for Saturday's attack but for Monday, no group is yet to take responsibility.

The explosion killed a 20-year-old waitress and injured three people, two of whom were in critical condition, police said, adding all indications suggest an act of domestic terror.

President Yoweri Museveni said the attack "seems to be a terrorist act".

In 2010, the Somali Islamist militant group al Shabaab killed dozens of people in Kampala in a bomb attack, saying it was punishing Uganda for deploying troops in Somalia.

Uganda has been one of the most effective peace and security partner in East and Horn of Africa, deploying close to 4,000 troops to Somalia in the fight against Al-shabaab. Neighboring Kenya has been one of the most affected nations in the war against Al-shabaab in Somalia.


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