JULY 12, 2010: Bomb Blasts Death Toll Rises to 74 as Al Shabaab Claim Responsibility

Bomb Blasts Death Toll Rises to 74 as Al Shabaab Claim Responsibility

SOURCE: The Independent

By Haggae Matsiko

Kampala — The death toll of the two Kampala bomb blasts has risen to 74. Previous reports had put the figure of the dead at 64 and causalities at 67.

The Somali Islamist militants al Shabaab have claimed they were behind the two bomb attacks.

The explosions went off at two bars packed with soccer fans watching the final moments of the World Cup final on television in an Ethiopian restaurant in Kabalagala and at Kampala rugby club on Sunday.

The inspector General of Police, Kale Kayihura earlier this morning said that the police suspected the al shabaab, although the Mogadishu based militant's commanders denied the accusations. However a head of a suspected Somali suicide bomber was found at one of the blast sites.

Sheik Ali Mohamud Rage, a spokesman for the Somali militant group al Shabaab has now come out boldly to claim responsibility for what left many grieving in Kampala. Reports indicate that the attacks are the first time that the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab has attacked sites outside Somalia.

The first blast hit the Ethiopian Village restaurant around 10:55 p.m. local time, Uganda media centre executive director, Fred Opolot said. Two more blasts tore through a crowded rugby club as the match was going on, Juma Seiko, one of the witnesses said Identification and trauma centres have been set up at Mulago Hospital and International Hospital Kampala.

President Yoweri Museveni who visited Ethiopian Village, Kampala Rugby Club and Mulago hospital where most of the victims are said that the terrorists behind the bombings should fight soldiers, not "people who are just enjoying themselves."

"We shall go for them wherever they are coming from. We will look for them and get them as we always do," Museveni added.

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