Islamic State claimed responsibility for twin suicide bombings in the Ugandan capital Kampala that killed three people and left several dozen wounded.
The police earlier blamed the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), an armed group active in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo blamed for a string of recent attacks in Uganda and which Washington has linked to Isis.
Two suicide bombers on motorbikes – disguised as local “boda boda” motorcycle taxi drivers – detonated a device near the entrance to parliament, killing a passer-by on Tuesday. A third attacker targeted a checkpoint near the central police station, killing two people, police spokesman Fred Enanga said.
The explosions in Kampala’s central business district occurred within minutes of each other, shortly after 10am, and left “bodies shattered and scattered”, he said.
Police foiled a third attack, recovering an improvised explosive device from the home of an alleged suicide bomber who was shot and wounded, Enanga added. They were in pursuit of other members of the group.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said the man “later died” and vowed that the attackers “will perish”.
“The public should maintain vigilance of checking people at entry points to bus parks, hotels, churches, mosques, markets,” he said.
The blast near the police station shattered windows while the one near parliament set nearby parked cars on fire, Uganda’s Assistant Inspector General of police Edward Ochom said.
The Ugandan Red Cross said 21 of the 33 people wounded were police officers.
The attacks follow two blasts last month – a bus explosion near Kampala that wounded many people and a bombing at a roadside eatery in the capital that killed one woman.
Police said both those explosions were carried out by the ADF.
In April 2019, Isis began to claim some ADF attacks on social media, presenting the group as its regional branch – the Islamic State Central Africa Province, or Iscap.
In March this year, the United States officially linked the ADF to Isis.
The ADF is considered by experts to be the bloodiest of more than 120 armed groups that roam eastern DRC, many of them a legacy of two regional wars a quarter of a century ago.
In 2010, twin bombings in Kampala targeting fans watching the World Cup final left 76 people dead, with al-Shabab claiming responsibility.
The attack was seen as revenge for Uganda sending troops to Somalia as part of an African Union mission to confront al-Shabab.