Police say Uganda bus blast is a ‘suicide bomb attack’

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Investigators work at the scene following an explosion on a bus in Lungala, Mpigi District, central Uganda, on Oct. 25, 2021. Two people were killed on Monday in the central Ugandan district of Mpigi after an explosion on the bus traveling from the capital Kampala to the western district of Bushenyi, a police spokesperson said. (Photo by Joseph Kiggundu/Xinhua)
Investigators work at the scene following an explosion on a bus in Lungala, Mpigi District, central Uganda, on October 25, 2021. /Xinhua

Ugandan police said a blast on a long-distance bus Monday evening that injured several people was a suicide bombing carried out by a member of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).

“The incident was confirmed as a suicide bomb attack where the attacker died in the explosion,” police spokesman Fred Enanga said on Tuesday, adding the bomber was “on the wanted list of members” of the Allied Democratic Forces.

The feared ADF, historically a Ugandan rebel group, has been accused of killing thousands of civilians in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The explosion on the bus near the Ugandan capital Kampala followed a bombing at a cafe on Saturday evening that killed one person and injured three others.

Enanga said they had established “a high connectivity” between the two attacks.

“There are individuals or groups of individuals preparing these IEDs who (belong to) the same group of attackers,” Enanga said, referring to improvised explosive devices.

The DRC’s Catholic Church says the ADF has killed around 6,000 civilians since 2013, while a respected monitor, the Kivu Security Tracker (KST), blames it for more than 1,200 deaths in the Beni area alone since 2017.

Police called Saturday’s attack an “act of domestic terror” and the Islamic State later claimed responsibility for that bombing.

Investigators said a 20-year-old woman was killed and three others injured in the explosion at a popular roadside eatery.

The police said Saturday’s blast was caused by an explosive device containing nails and pieces of metal, covered by a plastic bag.

They said the crude bomb left underneath a table indicated the work of an unsophisticated local outfit and played down any connection to foreign networks.

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