Ugandan president declares one-week national mourning for blast victims

08:11, July 13, 2010      

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Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has on Monday declared a one-week national mourning following the Sunday twin blasts in Kampala.

In a presidential statement issued by the Minister for Presidency Beatrice Wabudeya and read by the government spokesperson Fred Opolot at Uganda Media Center later Monday, Museveni announced that a one-week-long national mourning will start on Tuesday.

"During the seven days, the national flag will be flying at half mast," said the statement.

Bomb explosions tore a huge crowd watching the World Cup final at Kyandondo Rugby Club in a suburb east of Kampala and an Ethiopian restaurant, south of Kampala, killing at least 70 people and leaving 71 others injured.

Among the dead, the police has confirmed that there were 10 Ethiopians and Eritreans, one Indian, one American and three Ugandans. However, Ugandan Red Cross has put the death toll at 78.

Museveni, who visited Kyadondo Rugby Club, one of the scenes of the Sunday bombings before visiting the victims admitted at Mulago hospital and International Hospital Kampala, described the act as backward, irresponsible and coward by the terrorists.

Al shabaab, an armed faction fighting Somali Transitional Government with known links with al Qaeda, was suspected of being behind the attacks. But its spokesperson at first refused to confirm or deny the responsibility after the blasts.

Later on Monday, the group's spokesman Sheikh Ali Mohamoud Raageh announced that the Islamist group carried out the attack to revenge for what he said was atrocities committed by the Uganda troops in the Somali capital Mogadishu as peacekeeping forces.

Al shabaab has for several times warned Ugandan and Burundi governments against deploying its peacekeepers in Somalia, threatening to launch attacks in their capital cities on civilian targets.

Meanwhile, according to local radio Kfm, two Somalis have been arrested in Makidye, a Kampala city suburb, as two bombs were recovered. The police has also deployed at Makerere University following a bomb scare.

The twin blasts occurred a week before the African Union summit is to be hosted here, which would bring together most African leaders and senior officials, raising concerns on the security during the meeting.

Source: Xinhua


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