Uganda bomb attacks during Cup final

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at 05:09 PM, 12/07/2010 (8 years ago)
(15097 | Hero) (m)

A Somali Islamist militant movement on Monday claimed responsibility for a trio of bombings that killed at least 74 people Sunday in the Ugandan capital.

"And the best of men have promised and they have delivered," said an Arabic statement issued by Al-Shabaab's press office and obtained by CNN. "Blessed and exalted among men -- (taking) full responsibility ...We wage war against the 6,000 collaborators; they have received their response."

The 6,000 is an apparent reference to African Union peacekeepers in Somalia. Uganda contributes troops to the peacekeeping effort.

Earlier Monday, Sheikh Abu Al Zubeir, identified as "the Emir of Al-Shabaab in Somalia," said in an Arabic website posting, "My message to the Ugandan and Burundian nations is that you will be the target for our retribution to the massacres perpetrated against the Somali men, women and children in Mogadishu by your forces." The statement was posted on an al-Qaeda affiliated website which previously has carried statements and videos from Al-Shabaab.

The website set up a page Monday to "receive congratulations" on Al-Shabaab's behalf for the "blessed operations" in Uganda.

The three explosions ripped through two Kampala, Uganda, venues where crowds were watching the World Cup final match on Sunday.

Suspicion had centered on Somali Islamist groups shortly after the incident. Islamic militants battling Somalia's U.N.-backed transitional government had previously threatened attacks on Uganda and Burundi, which also contributes troops to the peacekeeping effort in Somalia.

President Yoweri Museveni declared a week of national mourning for victims of the bombings, beginning Tuesday, according to a government statement. All flags on public buildings will be lowered to half-staff during the mourning period, the statement said.

Meanwhile, a journalist in Mogadishu reported that shelling was underway in the city as of Monday night.

"If you want to fight, why don't you attack soldiers or military installations instead of fighting innocent people watching football?" said Museveni, who on Monday visited a rugby sports center where two of the blasts occurred Sunday.

The blasts hit in the capital, Kampala, within 50 minutes of each other. The first one struck an Ethiopian restaurant in a neighborhood dotted with bars and popular among expatriates; two others exploded at the rugby center.

A senior Ugandan government official confirmed there were three bombs. The second one at the rugby club was the most severe, said the official, who was not authorized to speak to the media because of the sensitivity of the situation.

The U.S. Embassy said one American was killed. An organization that works with children in Uganda identified him as Nate Henn.

In a post on its website, the organization -- Invisible Children -- said Henn was in the country working with Ugandan students. CNN could not independently verify the information.

"Nate was not a glory-seeker and never sought the spotlight. He asked not to be made a hero of," the post said. "But the life he lived inspires reflection and imitation."

At least six other Americans were injured.

Mike Hammer, a spokesman for the U.S. National Security Council, said President Barack Obama is "deeply saddened by the loss of life resulting from these deplorable and cowardly attacks." He said the United States is ready to provide assistance to Ugandan officials.

"We wish to condemn the criminality of these attacks," Museveni said. "From a casual look at the scene, I'm confident police will be able to reconstruct the crime scene ... We shall go after them because we know where they come from."
People were wailing, some were trying to find their relatives, others were trying to run away from the scene
--Mark Keith Muhumuza

The bombings, he said, show "criminality, and terrorism has always been hovering over us."

In a government statement, Somali President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed also blamed Al-Shabaab, saying he "condemns in the strongest terms the despicable terrorist acts that killed over 60 people in Kampala."

Ahmed said "the fact that the victims were enjoying the World Cup reveals the evil and ugly nature of the perpetrators and the need to uproot from (the) region those who do not value the sanctity of human life," the statement said.

"The president also denounces the fringe Al-Shabaab terrorist groups (who) rejoice of the carnage and stated that Somalia mourns with the brotherly people of Uganda."

Stone Atwine was watching the game at the rugby center when the blast occurred.

"It happened toward the 90th minute of the game ... this loud explosion," he said. "We didn't know what was happening, we were running around, scampering for safety. I saw dead guys still seated in their chairs with blood."

Atwine said a second explosion struck the venue seconds later, knocking out power.

"At that point, we ran off. My friends and I ran into the car and drove off."

Relatives flocked to hospitals and mortuaries to look for loved ones Monday.

"I was watching the game with my brother at the rugby center," said Ian Lule, who was among a group gathered at a city hospital. "The blast left him unconscious. I don't know how he is."

In the capital, crowds huddled around newspapers, talking in hushed tones.

"Everyone is shocked, everyone is talking about it," said Mark Keith Muhumuza, who was watching the game at a stadium near the rubgy center explosion. "We were in panic mode at the stadium because we thought we would be attacked next."

Muhumuza said when the game ended, he went to the rugby center. "People were wailing, some were trying to find their relatives, others were trying to run away from the scene."

"You can never stop attacks in the world," said FIFA president Sepp Blatter. "During the World Cup, the world should have been touched by the emotions of football. I'm very sad and I was very touched.

"Can you link this to the World Cup? I don't know," Blatter said. "It was when the World Cup was on TV, but it's not for us to investigate a link. But being linked or not to football, we as human beings condemn the attacks ... I deplore what has happened and look forward to the good that football can bring to our world."

The sites of the bombings remained cordoned off as authorities intensified security in the east African nation. Police and military forces patrolled the capital.

"We have more security forces, and are asking everyone to be cautious," Nabakooba said. "We are also asking people to avoid large crowds, but the most important thing is to be cautious."

Some of the injured at the restaurant included six members of an American church mission working with a local congregation, according to the Rev. Kathleen Kind, pastor of Christ Community United Methodist Church in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania.

All the church members were accounted for and families had been contacted, Kind said. Their injuries ranged from broken bones and flesh wounds to temporary blindness and hearing problems, she said.

Nabakooba called the bombings "definite acts of terrorism."

The African Union summit is scheduled to be held in Kampala next week.

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chrissiebee at 05:20 PM, 12/07/2010 (8 years ago)
(18753 | Hero) (f)
gosh! u wana give people a chance and they go and do this?? for what?? why do they do sumtin so inhumane and evil for what??? i dont get. may they get what they deserve.

princedafe at 05:25 PM, 12/07/2010 (8 years ago)
(3958 | Gistmaniac) (m)
dally007 at 05:44 PM, 12/07/2010 (8 years ago)
(1979 | Gistmaniac) (m)
Haba ...i can't verify the information.
mubaji at 06:14 PM, 12/07/2010 (8 years ago)
(1102 | Gistmaniac) (m)
what a dastard act! why can't they face the Ugandan military forces
nice9ija at 06:50 PM, 12/07/2010 (8 years ago)
(1054 | Gistmaniac) (m)
too small too read it took me only 1 second
ammyjane at 07:17 PM, 12/07/2010 (8 years ago)
(267 | Upcoming) (f)
Quote from: mubaji on 06:14 PM, 12/07/2010
what a dastard act! why can't they face the Ugandan military forces

Thank you my brother, this is real wickdness of the highest order. Why should the terriost go after innocent citizens watching the final game of the world cup match rather than fighting with the ugandan Military force. This is a very cheap way of pubilicty for them and God will surely purnish them for killing these innocent people.
belindajustins at 07:24 PM, 12/07/2010 (8 years ago)
(1699 | Gistmaniac) (f)
couldn't read but got the message.....too bad
Kendoo at 07:36 PM, 12/07/2010 (8 years ago)
(67 | Newbie) (m)
Bullshit !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
princedafe at 08:11 PM, 12/07/2010 (8 years ago)
(3958 | Gistmaniac) (m)
Islamic Terrorist just hates football fans sha

Is football now a crime
silviabells at 08:18 PM, 12/07/2010 (8 years ago)
(924 | Upcoming) (f)
may there soul rest in peace
ajanni at 08:23 PM, 12/07/2010 (8 years ago)
(96088 | Grande Master) (m)
this is very serious so , bad peoples at it again , but i don,t really believes much in CNN as source of a news , they lies alot and fabricates to suit their purpose , but in all i condenmed any acts of terrorism in totality
ajanni at 08:25 PM, 12/07/2010 (8 years ago)
(96088 | Grande Master) (m)
Quote from: silviabells on 08:18 PM, 12/07/2010
may there soul rest in peace
nice9ija at 08:34 PM, 12/07/2010 (8 years ago)
(1054 | Gistmaniac) (m)
@ajanni are u sure u are not a terrorist??.......sory am only asking!!!
ajanni at 08:39 PM, 12/07/2010 (8 years ago)
(96088 | Grande Master) (m)
yes of curse , but na your papa trained me to be
ajanni at 08:45 PM, 12/07/2010 (8 years ago)
(96088 | Grande Master) (m)
Quote from: nice9ija on 08:34 PM, 12/07/2010
@ajanni are u sure u are not a terrorist??.......sory am only asking!!!

bad boy , he will never grows , since i knows him , he never pass and he never fail and he never leave one class , see how his ear be , look at his two eyes too , like that of cat , onye osi plus onye ara boy, bad pickin with bigger mouth
drybone at 09:03 PM, 12/07/2010 (8 years ago)
(43 | Newbie) (m)
I think this sounds like a lesson to the nigerian government to keep there secure tiet and be vigilant
nice9ija at 09:13 PM, 12/07/2010 (8 years ago)
(1054 | Gistmaniac) (m)
@ajanni be cool am only asking a question ur answer should be yes or no.....anyway is ok how are u today? 
ajanni at 09:20 PM, 12/07/2010 (8 years ago)
(96088 | Grande Master) (m)
i am fine oooo boy , you how you dey ? how ya mouth so . you still dey take food from feeding bottle so ?
1ola at 09:41 PM, 12/07/2010 (8 years ago)
(146 | Upcoming) (m)
I just pray this kind thing never happens in Nigeria.
My second problem is that we never here any Imam or Sheikh from Saudi, Egypt, Iran, Nigeria etc condemning these bad behavious in the name of their religion
Christians leaders all over use to condemn anything that try to bring their religion to disrepute, why cant the Islamic religious leaders do this? Are they  in complicit with these atrocities
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