Uganda marks 10th anniversary of July bombings amid tight security

Photo shows Kampala city. Uganda. /Godong/Universal Images Group/Getty Images
People assist an injured man after two bombs exploded in Kampala, Uganda on July 11, 2010. (Photo: Reuters)

Uganda on Saturday commemorated the 10th anniversary of the July 11, 2010 bombings in the capital Kampala that left 76 football fans dead and dozens injured.

Patrick Onyango, Kampala Metropolitan police spokesperson told Xinhua by telephone that the commemorations were held amid tight security.

“We always beef up our security during the month of July because we know the terrorists normally want to remind people of what they did in the previous years. Security is patrolling the city as usual,” Onyango said.

The anniversary was held under the theme, “victims and survivors of terrorism are the real heroes and heroines in the global fight against terrorism”. Plans to hold a run to the two places that were bombed were halted as the country implements social distancing measures to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“Many children were left orphans. We don’t want this (extremism) to continue. We want terrorism to stop,” Francis Mugoga, director of Uganda 7/11 Survivors said in a statement posted on social media.

The Somali militant group, al-Shabaab, claimed responsibility for the twin attacks in revenge for Uganda’s deployment of peacekeeping troops in Somalia. Uganda provides the bulk of the African Union peacekeeping troops in Somalia, with over 6,000 troops deployed in the country.

The bombings were at Kyadondo Rugby Ground and the Ethiopian Village Restaurant, during the screening of the 2010 football World Cup final held in South Africa.

Onyango said the police and sister security agencies have been successful in the fight against terrorism in the east African country.

“We are better equipped, better skilled and the number in terms of human resource has grown to handle terrorism related issues,” said Onyango.

“Sharing intelligence information among the different security agencies within the country has helped a lot in deterring terrorists from attacking Uganda,” he said.