Uganda church attack ‘claimed by Islamic State’

Image copyright AFP Image caption Armed police stand guard outside the Anglican Church in Kampala

Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility for an attack on a church in Uganda’s capital, Kampala.

Four people were killed and others injured when bombs detonated at around 12:15 local time (0615 GMT) at the church in the capital’s Jinja suburb.

Police said the church had not in fact been attacked by IS, but that a previously unknown group was responsible.

Church officials in Kampala, Uganda’s capital, said there was no indication of an attack.

Although Muslim militants regularly stage attacks in Uganda, that is the first time there has been Islamist, IS-related violence in the east African country.

The country’s security agency, the National Intelligence Agency, described IS as a criminal organisation.

IS activity ‘increasing’

The organisation told Reuters news agency it carried out the bombing.

“We carried out these heinous acts,” a spokesman for the group, Abu Ubaida al-Ubaydli, told Reuters.

A man claiming to be a senior Islamic State militant has appeared in a video claiming responsibility for the attack, according to a Kenyan newspaper.

“We are here. For you, the Egyptians, for you, the Saudi, for you, for you,” the man said in the clip for the Al-Shabaab-linked Bugando News website.

It is not known who the man is.

This is not the first time an extremist group has claimed responsibility for attacks on the Ugandan security forces.

After a vehicle bomb blast at an army recruitment centre in 2013, Somalia’s al-Shabaab al-Qaeda-linked group said it was responsible.

In March 2016, an explosion near a police training academy in Kampala killed two people.

A year later, a remote-controlled explosion at a police training academy in the country’s north killed one officer and a number of recruits.

That attack was blamed on Boko Haram in Nigeria, al-Shabaab in Somalia and Isis.

Image copyright Reuters Image caption A similar blast hit a military recruitment centre in Uganda’s capital in 2013

President Yoweri Museveni said Uganda would not cede to “terrorism”, and urged soldiers at the nearby Tanzanian border not to let them carry out attacks into Uganda.

“Fools who do not have the heart of soldiers, stupid people, do not know what they are doing,” Mr Museveni said.

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