Extremists kill 74 in suicide bombings

Scores of football fans were killed as they watched the World Cup final on TV by two al-Qaida-linked suicide bombers in Uganda.

The extreme Somali group al-Shabab carried out the attacks that left at least 74 dead at a rugby club and restaurant in the capital Kampala on Sunday night.

They came two days after one of the group's leaders called for attacks in Uganda and Burundi, two nations that contribute troops to the African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The choice of two soft targets filled with civilians also raised concerns about the capabilities and motives of al-Shabab.

A spokesman for the group in Mogadishu said it was responsible for the bombings.

One of the targets was an Ethiopian restaurant – a nation despised by the al-Shabab militants.

Meanwhile, a California-based aid group said one of its American workers was among the dead. Ethiopian, Indian and Congolese nationals were also among those killed and wounded, police said.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

At least three of the wounded were in a church group from Pennsylvania who went to an Ethiopian restaurant in Kampala early to get good seats for the game

A Ugandan government spokesman said it appeared two suicide bombers took part in the attacks, leaving dozens wounded.

The attacks appeared to represent a dangerous step forward by al-Shabab, analysts said, and could mean that other East African countries working to support the Somali government will face attacks.

"Al-Shabab has used suicide bombers in the past and shown no concern about civilian casualties in its attacks," said David Shinn, a former US ambassador to Ethiopia.

Related topics: