Kenyan killed in Uganda twin blasts

08:08, July 15, 2010      

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The Kenyan government on Wednesday confirmed that its national was killed in Uganda's twin blasts which left at least 74 people dead and dozens injured on Sunday night.

Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula said the Kenyan victim who hails from Western Kenyan town of Webuye was booked wrongly in a Ugandan hospital thus delaying identification process.

The victim died in the Kyandondo Golf Club blast, the minister told parliament.

He expressed fears that the number of Kenyan victims could rise to two once results of DNA tests carried on another body after the discovery of an identity card are out.

Somalia's militant group, Al Shabaab which has ties with Al Qaeda network, has claimed responsibility for the barbaric attack which has sent panic across Uganda's neighbors and international community.

The radical movement said the attacks, the deadliest in East Africa since the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, were in retaliation for Uganda's refusal to withdraw its peacekeeping troops from Mogadishu.

Al Shabaab, whose leadership is composed of Somalis trained by Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, has also threatened to attack Burundi, the other African nation that has peacekeeping troops in Somalia.

Thousands of Kenyans live and work in Uganda while over 30,000 are students in the country's affordable secondary schools and colleges.

"I urge Kenyans whose relatives are in Uganda to try and reach them and if they cannot to seek help from my ministry," Wetangula told the lawmakers.

The East African nation has already dispatched four anti- terrorism detectives to Kampala to help hunt for the attackers.

The Kenyan detectives dispatched to Uganda will be joining a three-man team of detectives from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) dispatched there to lead the probe.

Prior to Sunday's incident, the Al Shabaab group which has been designated by Washington as terrorist network, had never attacked outside Somali borders.

In recent years, the Islamists have carried out suicide bombings in the Horn of Africa nation reminiscent of attacks blamed on Al Qaeda affiliate groups in such places as Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Analysts say the bombings have firmly placed Al Shabaab in the category of a transnational terrorist group, significantly raising the security stakes in the region.

"This government and the people of Kenya will neither fear to act or act in fear in fighting against terrorism. The ministries of Defence and Internal Security are working very harmoniously with my ministry to secure our borders," Wetangula said.

At least five people are believed to have been arrested in connection with the bombings.

The African Union peacekeeping force has been a major obstacle in Al Shabaab's efforts to take power in Mogadishu and turn the country into an ultra-conservative Islamic state.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:李牧(实习))

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