Three suicide bombers killed three people and sent members of parliament fleeing for cover in the heart of Uganda’s capital on Tuesday, the latest in a string of bombings claimed by Islamic State.
The explosions in Kampala, which caused the evacuation of parliament, stunned a country that has long been seen as a bastion against violent Islamist insurgents in East Africa, and whose government has spent years seeking Western security backing.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack on a Telegram account connected with the Amaq News Agency. The identitiess of the attackers showed that they were all Ugandans. The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), which is allied with the Islamic State, were also alleged to be responsible by the police.
Six people died, including police officers and the three bombers, according to police spokesperson Fred Enanga. 33 people are being treated in hospitals, with five of them in critical condition.
The explosions which took place three minutes apart from each other, with the first being near the central police station and the second near parliament, drove MPs and office workers fleeing shards of broken glass as a column of white smoke rose above the city.
According to Enanga, a suicide bomber with a rucksack detonated near the police station’s checkpoint, killing two people. One person was killed in the second attack, which involved two suicide bombers on motorcycles.