Uganda blasts' death toll climbs to 76

Updated: 2010-07-14 16:06
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Ugandan police have found an unexploded suicide vest and made several arrests after 76 soccer fans were killed by two bomb attacks while they were watching the World Cup final on television.

Somali Islamists linked to al-Qaida said on Monday they carried out the attacks. Uganda's opposition called on Tuesday for the country's peacekeepers to be withdrawn from Somalia.

A government spokesman said the unexploded suicide vest was found at a third site in the capital Kampala, a day after the twin explosions ripped through two bars heaving with soccer fans late on Sunday.

Ugandan police arrested six of the more than 20 Somalis and Ugandans suspected of planning twin bombings, an intelligence source said. Intelligence officials had received a tip-off last month that an attack was being planned. Such coordinated attacks have been a hallmark of al-Qaida and groups linked to Osama bin Laden's militant network.

The al-Shabaab militants have threatened more attacks unless Uganda and Burundi withdrew their peacekeepers from the African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia (AMISOM).

Uganda's opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party urged President Yoweri Museveni to pull his soldiers out and said it planned to withdraw if it won elections scheduled for early 2011.

FDC spokesman Wafula Oguttu said: "There is no peace to keep in Somalia and Uganda has no strategic interest there. We're just sacrificing our children for nothing."

AMISOM said the explosions would not affect its mission in Somalia, where it shields the presidential palace from insurgent attacks and guards Mogadishu's airport and port.

The coordinated blasts were the first time al-Shabaab has taken its bloody push for power onto the international stage. Analysts say its threats should be taken seriously, given the clear evidence the group has the intent and will to strike abroad.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Uganda blasts' death toll climbs to 76

About the broadcaster:

Uganda blasts' death toll climbs to 76

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.