'Specific threat' of attack at Kampala airport

2014-07-03 14:02
Hundreds of newly trained al-Shabaab fighters perform military exercises in the Lafofe area some 18km south of Mogadishu, in Somalia. (Farah Abdi Warsameh, AP/File)

Hundreds of newly trained al-Shabaab fighters perform military exercises in the Lafofe area some 18km south of Mogadishu, in Somalia. (Farah Abdi Warsameh, AP/File)

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Kampala - The US embassy in Uganda warned on Thursday of a "specific threat" by an unknown group to attack the international airport serving the capital Kampala.

The alert came as travellers flying to the United States from Europe and the Middle East faced tighter security because of new concerns about the development of explosives that could circumvent airport security.

"The US embassy has received information from the Uganda police force that according to intelligence sources there is a specific threat to attack Entebbe International Airport by an unknown terrorist group today, July 3rd, between the hours of 2100-2300 (1800 GMT to 2000 GMT)," the statement said.

Although it did not name any group, al-Qaeda linked Shabaab insurgents have claimed recent attacks in Kenya and Djibouti.

Night-time attacks

Uganda has troops in Somalia as part of the African Union force fighting the Shabaab and is on high alert amid fears of attacks by the Islamist militants.

The US embassy said people planning travel through the airport during Thursday evening may want to review their plans in light of the warning.

It also warned its citizens of a general threat of attacks which could target hotels, restaurants, clubs, malls, diplomatic missions, government buildings and transport.

The Sheba claimed responsibility for the assault on the Westgate shopping centre that killed at least 67 people in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi in September last year as well as for two night-time attacks on the Kenyan coast last month that killed around 60 people.

In May, a male and female suicide bomber blew themselves up in an attack on restaurant popular with Westerners in central Djibouti, killing a Turkish national.

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