US warns of ‘specific terrorist threat’ to Uganda churches

May 7, 2014 9:00 am


The Cathedral in Lahore, Pakistan/AFP
The Cathedral in Lahore, Pakistan/AFP
KAMPALA, May 7 – Churches in the Ugandan capital face a “specific terrorist threat”, the US embassy has warned, amid a wave of attacks in east Africa blamed on Islamist insurgents.

“The threat information indicates a group of attackers may be preparing to strike places of worship in Kampala, particularly churches, including some that may be frequented by expatriates, in May or June,” the embassy warned in a statement to US citizens Tuesday.

No specific group was mentioned in the warning, but Somalia’s Al-Qaeda linked Shabab insurgents or their supporters have been blamed for a string of attacks, especially in neighbouring Kenya.

Both Uganda and Kenya are key contributors of troops to the African Union force fighting the Shabab in Somalia, and the Islamists have carried out major attacks in both countries in retaliation in the past.

In Kenya, two people were killed and dozens wounded in double bus bombings in the capital Nairobi on Sunday, a day after four were killed in twin attacks in the port city of Mombasa.

Shabab bombers killed at least 76 people in Uganda’s capital Kampala in 2010.

Uganda set up a specialist tourism police force in March as part of counter-terrorism measures, amid warnings of Shabab attacks.

The United Nations has also warned of an increased threat of attacks from the Shabab following a major offensive launched against the militants in March.


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