64 dead in Uganda bombings (Second lead)

Monday, July 12, 2010

NAIROBI - Bombings targeting football fans in the Ugandan capital Kampala killed at least 64 people and left 71 others injured, officials said Monday.

Chief of police Kale Kayihura said the radical Islamic al-Shabaab militia in Somalia could be behind the the late Sunday bombings.

“We have been suspecting that these people could be planning something like this,” Kayihura told the New Vision newspaper.

Police spoke of two bomb blasts, one in an Ethiopian restaurant and another at the Kyadondo Rugby Club which was hosting a crowd of football fans who had gathered to watch the World Cup final between Spain and the Netherlands.

But the Daily Monitor reported a possible third attack in the suburb of Ntinda. Many other restaurants and bars apparently closed out of fear of further attacks.

At the rugby club, the bomb went off around 11 p.m. (2000 GMT), with the Daily Monitor newspaper reporting that at least 40 people were killed there.

Blood, clothing, shoes and destroyed furniture littered the ground while security and medical personnel attended to the injured.

At least 13 people, at least half of whom were foreigners, were killed in the Ethiopian restaurant blast.

“These bombs were definitely targeting World Cup crowds,” Kayihura told the BBC.

Somali extremists had threatened attacks in Kampala because Ugandan troops are among the 5,000 African Union peacekeepers in Mogadishu. Somali troops are also being trained by the European Union in Uganda.

The US condemned the terrorist attacks and noted that Americans might have been among those killed or injured.

“I join President Obama in strongly condemning today’s attacks in Kampala, Uganda, targeting innocent spectators watching the World Cup final,” US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in a statement late Sunday.

“We understand that American citizens may have been injured or killed, and our embassy is reaching out to assist,” she said. “Our condolences go out to the families and friends of the victims in the US and Uganda.”

Filed under: Terrorism

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