One killed, 150 injured in Ugandan royal tomb stampede: police

11:52, March 28, 2010      

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One person died and about 150 others were injured during a stampede at Kasubi Tombs as tens of thousands of people ended a week of mourning over the destruction of the royal mausoleum by a fire, police said here on Saturday.

Vincent Sekate, deputy police spokesperson, told Xinhua by telephone that the Friday incident at the tombs located in a suburb of Kampala occurred as the crowd tried to catch a glimpse of the presiding Ronald Mutebi II, King of Buganda Kingdom, one of the country's four traditional kingdoms reserved as cultural institutions.

According to him, an elderly woman, Harriet Namuddu was killed and 146 other people injured as local media put the number of the injured at 250, though most of them minor.

"For us the report we have is that 146 people were injured including those with minor injuries. Only 16 people were admitted at Mulago Hospital with serious injuries," Sekate said.

A late night fire whose cause is still being investigated burned down the main structure of the royal burial ground and a World Heritage Site on March 16, which housed the tombs of four former Buganda Kings.

The incident, which destroyed some of the royal artifacts such as traditional instruments, photographs, weapons, shields but left the tombs intact, drew suspicion of foul play of the government which has had strained relationship with the kingdom.

President Yoweri Museveni, however, denied any foul play or conspiracy involving the government in the incident and condemned those spreading rumors though he did not rule out arson as a possible cause of the fire.

Source: Xinhua
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