Riots break out in Kampala

April 29, 2011 12:00 am

, KAMPALA, Uganda, Apr 29 – Rioters setting up burning roadblocks in downtown Kampala clashed with police firing tear gas Friday, a day after Uganda\’s opposition leader was arrested for the fourth time this month.

An AFP correspondent said rioters using scrap and burning tyres had set up road blocks around a market area in the centre of the capital, drawing tear gas fire from a deployment of police and military police.

"It started in the morning when groups of youths started burning tyres and setting up road blocks in Kiseka market," police spokeswoman Judith Nabakooba said.

Nabakooba said that security personnel had been deployed and were putting out burning tyres.

"Our personnel are moving to put out fires. We are containing it," she said.

Nabakooba said the police had "not yet established" the causes for the disturbances.

On Thursday, opposition leader Kizza Besigye was arrested by police who smashed his car windows with guns and hammers before bundling him into the back of pick-up truck.

Besigye, who lost to President Yoweri Museveni for the third time in February elections he says were rigged, had only just been released from a week in custody.

Besigye and other opposition leaders earlier in April started walking to work twice a week as a symbolic protest against rising fuel costs but the demonstrations have met with a tough response from the police.

According to the Ugandan Red Cross, five people have died nationwide this month in violence.

Food and fuel prices have soared in the eastern African country recently, with Museveni blaming inflation on meteorological and global economic factors, but protestors see it as a result of bad governance.


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