At Least 12 Killed, Dozens Injured in Attacks on Uganda Marketes and Bus Stop

Uganda has suffered three consecutive days of explosions, killing at least 12 people and injuring dozens more in its capital Kampala.

A group of suicide bombers attacked two markets and a bus stop on Friday, the national emergency services confirmed.

More than 300 people have been injured since Wednesday when the same set of suicide bombers attacked Khatumo, a district popular with traders from Kampala.

Early on Friday, a smaller explosion hit the gardens of the Government Complex in the middle of the city. A series of blasts also took place in the residential area of Kira Road.

In the first attack on Wednesday, terrorists blew themselves up near the street of Uganda’s military wing.

Kampala is the commercial capital of Uganda and is home to 7.5 million people, mostly Ugandans from the country’s diverse mix of tribes and sects and other refugees who fled Uganda’s troubles in the west and east of the country in the 1980s and 1990s.

In 2016, Al-Shabaab conducted a failed attack on the heart of the Ugandan capital, Kampala, killing at least 75 people. Two years ago, three female suicide bombers targeted a military camp but failed to cause any casualties because of heavy gunfire.

Ugandan police have arrested at least 12 suspects since Wednesday, according to the state-owned Monitor newspaper.

The attacks in Kampala have sent fear and panic across the country, as panicked tourists in the capital scurry for safety. More than 180 tourists are on hunger strike in Kampala demanding that the government condemn the attacks.

Security has been put on alert in Kenya, which shares a 1,000-mile border with Uganda. Police were out in force in Mombasa searching for two British men, 24 and 26 years old, who reportedly boarded a bus in Mombasa. They also arrested a 65-year-old Kenyan man.

Uganda borders Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan and sends troops into neighboring countries to fight terrorists and defend regional states against a growing threat. Somalia is at the heart of the ongoing extremism in the region.

The U.S. has also deployed 800 military troops to fight Al-Shabaab militants in Somalia.

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni ordered flags flown at half-mast in honor of the dead.

“This affliction is supposed to be over in less than two years,” Museveni said. “This affliction shall not be over if we are not prepared to face it.”

Ugandan counter-terrorism spokesman Kale Kayihura said a security police official was also killed in the attacks. Two children died in Khatumo when a bomb was thrown at them at a market.

The Somali Islamic extremist group Al-Shabaab said it was behind Thursday’s attack in Khatumo. The military wing of the group also has carried out similar attacks in Uganda’s other urban centers.

On Thursday, the terrorists sent text messages claiming responsibility, which could not be independently verified.

“We will make it very ugly for you and your people,” the text messages said.

Al-Shabaab seeks to impose its harsh interpretation of Islamic law across Somalia and has carried out numerous attacks in the capital, Mogadishu, as well as in Kenya and Uganda.

The group’s deadliest attack was the 2013 attack on an upscale mall in Nairobi, Kenya, that killed at least 67 people.

No group has claimed responsibility for Thursday’s explosion in Kampala.

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