US: Uganda foils imminent Shebaab attack

2014-09-13 20:20
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Kampala - Ugandan security forces have stopped a cell of Somalia's al-Qaeda linked al-Shebaab insurgents apparently "planning for an imminent attack", the US embassy said on Saturday.

"Ugandan authorities reported the discovery of an al-Shebaab terrorist cell in Kampala," it said in a statement.

"We remain in close contact with our Ugandan counterparts as investigations continue into what appears to have been planning for an imminent attack."

Police spokesperson Fred Enanga confirmed forces had "made arrests".

"Joint security agencies in Uganda have foiled a terrorist attempt at one of its installations," Enanga told AFP, without giving any further details.

Security forces have boosted patrols around major sites, the US said, in a warning statement to its citizens in the east African nation.

"At this point we are not aware of specific targets, and the Ugandan authorities have increased security at key sites, including Entebbe International Airport," the embassy said.

"If you must move about, remain aware of your surroundings, avoid crowds, monitor local news stations for updates, and maintain a high level of vigilance."

Last Monday the US embassy warned that al-Shebaab insurgents may try to exact revenge for a US air strike that killed the militant group's commander.

"Stay alert to the ongoing potential for terrorist attacks in Uganda," it said.

"We also caution US citizens of the possibility of retaliatory attacks in Uganda by al-Shebaab in response to the US and Ugandan military actions in Somalia last week which killed al-Shebaab leader Ahmed Godane."

Uganda's government said the country - a major contributor to AMISOM, the African Union force fighting the al-Shebaab - was "happy" at death of Godane, and had provided the US with key intelligence on his whereabouts.

Uganda's Ministry of Internal Affairs said immigration officers had carried out an "operation on illegal immigrant workers in different parts of Kampala" on Saturday morning, with 69 people arrested.

It was not clear if the raids were connected.

The al-Shebaab insurgents have claimed recent attacks in Kenya and Djibouti, and at home in Somalia.

During the World Cup final four years ago, al-Shebaab insurgents killed at least 76 people after setting off explosions that ripped through two restaurants in Kampala.

Read more on:    al-shebaab  |  uganda  |  east africa

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