Calm returns after Uganda clashes injure 57

April 15, 2011 12:00 am

, KAMPALA, Apr 15 – Calm returned on Friday to the several towns in Uganda affected by clashes between police and opposition supporters that left 57 people injured, officials said.

Opposition supporters were protesting a rise in the cost of living and what they say is bad governance by President Yoweri Museveni.

"Everything is calm," deputy police spokesman Vincent Ssekate told AFP. Uganda Red Cross secretary general Michael Richard Nataka confirmed the return to normalcy across the country.

"We managed to put the situation to order. The isolated incidents in Kampala and some towns outside have been properly handled and the streets are now safe," deputy police chief Asan Kasingye told AFP.

"There were protests in Gulu and Masaka yesterday but the police brought the situation to order and we are getting information that people are back to business," he added.

On Thursday police fought running battles with opposition supporters hurling stones in several Kampala suburbs.

Security forces also used tear gas to disperse hundreds of protesting opposition supporters in Jinja, east of Kampala, and Masaka, a town on the road south, police commanders said.

Maraba, another southern town, and Gulu, the main northern town, were also affected

"Yesterday evening we had a total of 47 injured. This morning it is 57 as we have included others from towns such as Jinja, Masaka and Gulu," Nataka said, adding: "There are reports of two dead in Gulu."

The Red Cross could not immediately confirm the deaths.

Those injured included the main opposition leader Kizza Besigye who sustained an open fracture to one finger in what he thinks was a deliberate attempt to hit him.

"I\’m inclined to think that it was deliberate. … It was at a very close distance. One could not reasonably consider it was just stray fire hitting people," Besigye told AFP Friday.

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