Three suicide bombers in the heart of the Ugandan capital have killed at least three civilians and sent parliamentarians to rush to safety as nearby cars caught fire, witnesses and police said, the latest in a series of bombings over the past month.
At least 33 people were being treated at Mulago hospital, including five in critical condition, police spokesman Fred Enanga said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Somali insurgent group al-Shabaab, linked to al-Qaeda, carried out deadly attacks in Uganda. Last month, another group, the Islamic State-aligned Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) claimed responsibility for its first attack in Uganda.
“Our intelligence also indicates that these are national terrorist groups linked to the ADF,” Enanga said.
The explosions – the first near the central police station and the second very near Parliament – sent bloodied office workers scurrying to cover themselves with shards of shattered glass as a plume of white smoke rose in the sky. above the city center.
A single suicide bomber carried out the first explosion near the police station checkpoint, killing two, Enanga said. Then two motorcycle suicide bombers exploded, killing another person.
“A loud noise like that of a big cannon rang out. The ground shook, my ears almost went deaf,” Peter Olupot, a 28-year-old bank guard who was near the attack near the Parliament.
“I saw a burning vehicle and everyone was running and panicking. I saw a boda boda (motorbike) man – his head was smashed and covered in blood.”
A Reuters reporter saw burned-out cars behind a police cordon at the scene and a reporter with local TV station NTVUganda said he saw two bodies on the street.
Uganda Red Cross spokesperson Irene Nakasiita said they would later release information about the blasts.
Ugandan soldiers fight al Shabaab in Somalia as part of a UN-backed African Union peacekeeping force. The Al Shabaab bombings in Uganda include a 2010 attack that killed 70 people while watching the World Cup.
Last month, the ADF first claimed responsibility for a bomb explosion in Uganda – stuffed with shrapnel – that killed a waitress in a restaurant.
Also last month, Ugandan police said a suicide bomber blew up a bus, killing himself and injuring others. His affiliation was not clear.
The ADF was originally created by Ugandan Muslims, but now has its main bases in the forested mountains of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which borders Uganda.
The ADF and al Shabaab frequently use explosive devices and have been accused of killing thousands of civilians.