US warns of terrorist threat to Uganda churches

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Churches in the Ugandan capital face a “specific terrorist threat”, the US embassy has warned, amid a wave of attacks in east Africa blamed on Islamist insurgents.

“The threat information indicates a group of attackers may be preparing to strike places of worship in Kampala, particularly churches, including some that may be frequented by expatriates, in May or June,” the embassy warned in a statement to US citizens Tuesday.

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No specific group was mentioned in the warning, but Somalia’s al Qaeda linked al Shabaab insurgents or their supporters have been blamed for a string of attacks, especially in neighbouring Kenya.

Both Uganda and Kenya are key contributors of troops to the African Union force fighting the al Shabaab in Somalia, and the Islamists have carried out major attacks in both countries in retaliation in the past.

In Kenya, two people were killed and dozens wounded in double bus bombings in the capital Nairobi on Sunday, a day after four were killed in twin attacks in the port city of Mombasa.
Al Shabaab bombers killed at least 76 people in Uganda’s capital Kampala in 2010.

Uganda set up a specialist tourism police force in March as part of counter-terrorism measures, amid warnings of al Shabaab attacks.

The United Nations has also warned of an increased threat of attacks from the al Shabaab following a major offensive launched against the militants in March.

-nation.co.ke

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