The Uganda Police Force have confirmed that the explosion that went off last evening in Komanboga near Kampala City was an act of terror attack perpetrated by unknown terrorists using home-made bombs.
In a statement released on Sunday, Police also identified the victims of the attack as Nyinaneza Emily, a 20 year old waitress who succumbed to deep injuries on her neck, back and left leg while Kiconco Annet, Nakitto Rose and Ssenyonga Peter are in Mulago hospital nursing injuries from the blast. The last two in critical condition.
According to police, a joint team of bomb experts have established that the explosion was out of a crude device, assembled using local materials of nails and other metallic fragments.
“All indicators suggest an act of domestic terror. we do greatly thank all persons who have given us leads towards the identity of the 3 culprits.”
In the statement, police says three men disguised as customers arrived at the eating point belonging to Lule Samuel at around 8:30PM with one of them carrying a polythene bag containing unknown items that they later placed under the table. The suspects appeared friendly to other customers and placed orders for bites and drinks for them before they disappeared abandoning the “package” at the scene. Moments later, the explosion occured covering a radius of 5 meters. Police says, this indicates that the suspects ultimately detonated the improvised explosive device after leaving the scene.
On October 15, the United Kingdom (UK) warned that terrorists could carry out an attack in Uganda, but police have said there is no need to elevate the threat levels. In a statement, the UK government called on their nationals to be extremely vigilant about their security “especially in crowded and public places like hotels, transport hubs, restaurants and bars, and during major gatherings like sporting or religious events”.
The statement from UK government noted that the attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners.
However, at a press conference a few days after, Police spokesperson, Fred Enanga said whereas counter terrorism teams take such warnings serious and important, they will not increase the threat levels.
This time however, Police appealed to members of the public to remain extra vigilant and always pay much attention to all forms of movements and suspicious behavior within their surroundings.
In this incident, Police says, the place was crowded with low levels of alertness, lacked security measures, and was operating in total disregard of curfew directives.
Police also said the alert by the UK and France were not discriminate in nature and lacked specific details which were not availed. Enanga cautioned the media especially social media for the blame game of pointing fingers at police for not responding appropriately to the alerts.
“The public should know that matters of security are not a monopoly of security agaencies but a responsibility of each and every one. As you are all aware, since 2010, we have foiled so many acts of terror and dismantled several domestic terror cells. Therfore, you should jointly look for solutions aimed at countering acts of domestic terror” Enanga said.
Police said they continue to levels of security preparedness across the country and focusing on places that attract crowds but the public must remain vigilant.
“Just recently we cracked down several rebel colaborators who were undermining the prevailing peace and security in the country. We shall therefore work tirelessly to bring all the culprits involved in the bomb attack to book” Enanga noted.