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C ops find suicide vest in K ampala

By Jeremy Clarke andElias Biryabarema | Jul 14, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

KAMPALA - Ugandan police have found an unexploded suicide vest.

KAMPALA - Ugandan police have found an unexploded suicide vest.

They also made a number of arrests after coordinated bomb blasts ripped through two bars and killed at least 76 soccer fans who were watching the World Cup final on Sunday.

Somali al Shabaab militants linked to al Qaeda said on Monday they had carried out the attacks, but an official from the group said yesterday no suicide bombers were involved.

The vest was found on Monday in a suburb of Kampala and was consistent with evidence found at the other blast sites in the capital, Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura said.

Police said the vest was designed so it could be planted, rather than worn, and be used as an improvised bomb.

A man who identified himself as Yonis, assistant to al Shabaab spokesperson Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage, said: "Rage blessed those who carried out the attack and expected a long life for them. That shows there was no suicide bomb. These were planted."

Coordinated attacks are a hallmark of al Qaeda and groups linked to Osama bin Laden's militant network. If confirmed to be the work of al Shabaab, they would be the first time the militants have taken their push for power internationally.

Analysts have questioned whether they might have been helped or funded by elements in Uganda or foreign militants within al Shabaab itself.

"Somalis or foreigners, the effect is the same. It is foreign elements that now dominate the al Shabaab project," Abdi Samatar, a Somalia expert at the University of Minnesota, said.

Kayihura gave no further details on how many suspects had been detained or where they were from.

Al Shabaab have threatened more attacks unless Uganda and Burundi withdraw their peacekeepers from the AU peacekeeping force in Somalia. They control large areas in the south and centre of the anarchic country.

But regional bloc, Igad, said it would not cower at the threats and would continue to support the West-backed government in Somalia.

"We shall increase peacekeepers in Somalia to over 8000 and hope to have the extra troops in the country by the second week of August," executive secretary Mahboud Maalim said in Nairobi. - Reuters


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