Four unidentified Eritreans and a Somali were arrested in various parts of Kampala for questioning in relation to the Sunday bombings

By Solomon Muyita & Gerald Bareebe

(Daily Monitor) At least five more suspects linked to last Sunday’s bombing in Kampala have been arrested bringing the number of suspects in police custody to 12. The police bomb squad was on day four still on its toes as telephone lines were jammed with calls of suspected bombs dumped in several areas, including outside Kampala City.

Daily Monitor learnt from some of the investigators that some four unidentified Eritreans and a Somali were arrested in various parts of Kampala for questioning in relation to the Sunday bombings. The Somali, who the police picked from Nalukolongo, was allegedly found in posession of some suspicious polythene bag. The police were, however, tight-lipped about yesterday’s arrests.

Police spokesperson Judith Nabakooba said she had no information on the matter, and Mr Abbas Byakagaba, the police director for counter-terrorism, said he still awaited information from his field officers before he could commit himself on the matter.

The leader of Ethiopian Community in Uganda, Mr Negussie Belcha, however, said he was aware four Ethiopians were under police custody. “We have learnt that four of our people were arrested by police,” Mr Negussie said. “Exactly what is the reason? We do not know. But we trust authorities in Uganda. We need to give them time so that they can inform us the reason for their arrest.”

Yesterday, multitudes of people working around Mackay Road next to one of the exits of the New Kampala Taxi Park had gathered to witness a seeming detonation of one of the unattended item that had been dumped there.

Chaos at park
 
They were, however, sent scampering for safety when the bomb squad used a loud weapon to fire a rubber bullet into the item, to ascertain if it was an explosive. The police later declared it an innocent bag.

“That was a yet another bomb scare. But even our experts do not just touch these items whenever they are called in. They mistook the blast from our weapon and ran in dissary thinking an explosive had gone off,” explained Ms Nabakooba.

Mr Byakagaba shed some more light: “It is a special equipment we use for that purpose and it does not make the bomb go off. It is a bit noisy but it assists us to quickly ascertain whether what we are dealing with is a live explosive or not.” The suspicious item was later found to be a metallic object.

The Uganda Media Centre yesterday told journalists that the government is impressed with the level of alertness and vigilance by members of the public on explosives. “The police and other security agencies are on alert to ensure the lives and property of Ugandans and her visitors are protected. I therefore want to commend the vigilance of the public and UTODA,” said Media Centre boss Fred Opolot.

At least 74 people who were watching the World Cup final game have been confirmed to have died from the attack at the Ethiopian restaurant at Kabalagala and the Kyadondo Rugby Club. Somalia-based al-Shabaab terrorists have since claimed responsibility.

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