News / Africa

Security Tight As Kampala Buries Bomb Victims

TEXT SIZE - +

The Ugandan capital, Kampala is burying victims of the worst terrorist attack in the city's history. The death toll stands at 73 from the twin bomb attacks that targeted soccer fans watching the World Cup final.  The bombs have sparked fears and at least one reprisal attack against foreigners.

It was a day of funerals, as grieving relatives said farewell to loved ones killed while celebrating what was perhaps Africa's finest moment in sports.

Five-hundred mourners gathered at the Kampala's Roman Catholic cathedral to honor 29-year-old Alice Kyalimpa.  She and two colleagues had gone to watch the event on a big-screen TV at a local rugby club.

All three died instantly when a blast tore the place apart.

A local newspaper Wednesday published a picture taken moments before the blast showing a hooded figure police believe might have been the suicide bomber.  Police also showed an unexploded bomb vest found at a disco club that was apparently intended to be a third target.

Investigators say all but two of the blast victims have been identified.

The unidentified remains are two severed heads believed to have belonged to the two bombers.  Police pathologist Dr. Moses Byaruhanga says identification will be difficult.

"They are dark-skinned, and we have taken samples for DNA.  It is going to be profiled, and of course samples have been taken, swabs and they will be useful in future investigation," he said.

Police say six suspects have been taken into custody in the bombing investigation.  Uganda's information Minister Princess Kabakumba Matsiko confirms several are foreigners, but declines to reveal their nationalities, saying they have not been confirmed.

Anti-foreigner sentiments is said to be running high in the capital after the Somali Islamic extremist group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attacks.  Police pathologist Dr. Byaruhanga confirmed the body of a non-Ugandan was brought to the city morgue after reports he had been beaten by an angry crowd.

"We have a white-skinned body in the mortuary.  This morning I got that body with my colleague. However, we did not perform post mortem there and then ... the man has no blast injuries," said Byaruhanga.

People from Horn of Africa countries Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia are said to be staying off the streets after reports of anti-foreigner violence.  

Ugandan opposition leader Kizza Besigye describes the public mood as a mixture of fear and anger from people who feel their country has contributed a lot to help Somalia through its contributions to the African Union peacekeeping force AMISOM.

"Our people are worried, but do not forget terrorism has its double edge," he said. "It also causes people go become more resolute, more determined in confronting the source of terror, so you will find both feelings in our society.  Unfortunately some of those feelings are being wrongly expressed because I have heard many reports so far that anybody who looks like a Somali is being attacked."

Fears of further bomb attacks have raised security levels in Kampala to unprecedented levels.  Authorities say scores of reports have been received from citizens about suspicious items and activities.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid