20 Arrested Over Kampala Bombs Blasts

Published on Sunday 18th July 2010

Close to 20 suspects have been arrested by the Police and other security agencies over Sunday's twin blasts in the city. So far, at least 76 people have died and many more sustained injuries.

Police chief Maj. Gen. Kale Kayihura said they were netted in numerous police swoops in various parts of the country for alleged links to the Somali al Shabaab militia or found under highly suspicious circumstances.

Some of the arrests, he said, were effected by authorities in neighbouring countries.

Giving a breakdown of the arrests, Kayihura said four of the suspects were Ethiopian. They were arrested on Monday in connection with the Makindye bomb that was detonated.

Seven people were arrested in Kampala, one at the Uganda-Rwanda border at Katuna, one at the Kenya border and one in Kenya. He was arrested by the Kenyan police and handed over to Uganda.

Kenyan Police arrested another suspect but they have not yet handed him over.

"Among the arrested were several Pakistani sheikhs who were nabbed in Pallisa and Koboko districts," Kayihura said. He, however, refused to give details, saying: "It is not in our interest to investigate this matter in public."

Kayihura was speaking at the inter-religious prayers organised by the Uganda Youth Platform for Peace at the Pan Africa Square, Kampala.

He, however, said the suspect arrested at Katuna had a forged passport and could have been fleeing the country, while the one arrested in Koboko is a Somali national, who was "coming from Southern Sudan under suspicious circumstances."

Northwestern Police spokesperson Phillip Mukasa said: "Security operatives became suspicious after he was found in possession of an unspecified number of phone SIM cards and a variety of business and smart cards." He was later handed over to the Police anti-terrorism squad.

Yesterday American Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) operatives backed by the Uganda Police and other security operatives returned to Kyadondo Rugby club and spent a greater part of the day carrying out investigations.

About 60 FBI agents arrived at the scene at 8:00am in five vehicles and spent more than nine hours scouring for clues that may be crucial in unravelling the bomb blasts that killed more than 50 people.

The operatives removed all the white plastic chairs, picked pieces of human flesh still scattered all over the place, collected bottles and samples of grass, which sources said would be subjected to forensic analysis.

The Police fenced off the area to allow the operation go on without destruction. Sources said the operatives will pitch camp there for three days.

Meanwhile, a Somali national was arrested in Luzira, a city suburb while trying to take a photograph of Luzira Prison.

Frank Baine, the Prisons' spokesperson, said the man, who was wearing dark glasses, was in the possession of a digital camera hidden in a jacket.

Jinja Road Police boss, Seiko Chemonges, said: "They have not yet updated me on the incident."

Meanwhile, the death toll, which had been revised downwards to 74, has again gone up to 76 after two other victims passed away.

The Police has also began clearing and returning the 29 vehicles parked at the Kyadondo Rugby club to their owners.



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