The US embassy in Uganda told its citizens to seek safety on Saturday, saying that local authorities had uncovered a “terrorist cell” run by Somali militant group al-Shabaab, which they believed was planning an imminent attack.
Ugandan law enforcement later said it had foiled an attack in central Kampala and was increasing security at hotels and other public places, but declined to say who was behind the attack.
The embassy, in a statement published on its Web site, said it was not aware of specific targets, but said the authorities had increased security at key sites including Entebbe International Airport.
“Today, Ugandan authorities reported the discovery of an al-Shabaab terrorist cell in Kampala, Uganda,” the embassy said. “We remain in close contact with our Ugandan counterparts as investigations continue into what appears to have been planning for an imminent attack.”
At a news conference later, Ugandan police said they had seized explosives and arrested an unspecified number of foreigners after foiling an attack.
However, Fred Enanga, a spokesman for the Ugandan police force, declined to say whether he believed the cell was connected to al-Shabaab and to name the nationalities of those detained.
Uganda, as one of the countries that contribute forces to an African Union peacekeeping mission battling al-Shabaab in Somalia, has experienced militant attacks in recent years, and al-Shabaab has threatened to carry out more.
The US embassy, shortly before issuing its announcement, told its citizens — via Twitter — to stay at home or proceed to a safe location while Ugandan authorities completed operations against a suspected cell in Kampala.
The embassy has said Uganda faces a “continued threat” and has issued other alerts during the year about possible attacks.
Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack on the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi in neighboring Kenya a year ago, in which 67 people died.
This month the group warned of revenge against its enemies after it said its leader, Ahmed Godane, had been killed in a US air strike on his encampment in Somalia.
‘CONFESSED’: A court in Beijing said that former CCP member Ren Zhiqiang abused his power at a state firm and embezzled almost US$7.14 million of public funds A Chinese tycoon who called Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) a clown and criticized his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic was yesterday jailed for 18 years for corruption, bribery and embezzlement of public funds. Ren Zhiqiang (任志強) — once among the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) inner circle — disappeared from the public eye in March, shortly after penning an essay that lambasted Xi’s pandemic response. His outspokenness had earned the former chairman of state-owned property developer Huayuan Group the nickname “Big Cannon.” Yesterday’s verdict said that Ren embezzled almost 50 million yuan (US$7.4 million) of public funds and accepted bribes worth 1.25 million
AUSTRALIAN SITE: China has had a contract with SSC’s Yatharagga station since at least 2011, but the last time it used it was in June 2013. No final date has been given China would lose access to a strategic space tracking station in Western Australia when its contract expires, the facility’s owners said, a decision that cuts into Beijing’s expanding space exploration and navigational capabilities in the Pacific region. The Swedish Space Corp (SSC) has had a contract allowing Beijing access to the satellite antenna at the station since at least 2011. The station is located next to an SSC satellite station primarily used by the US and its agencies, including NASA. The Swedish state-owned company said it would not enter into any new contracts at the Australian site to support Chinese customers after
OFF BORDER ISLAND: The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel wearing a life jacket and leaving behind his shoes, indicating an intentional move, Seoul said North Korean soldiers shot dead a suspected South Korean defector at sea and burned his body as a COVID-19 precaution after he was interrogated in the water over several hours, Seoul military officials said yesterday. It is the first killing of a South Korean citizen by North Korean forces for a decade, and comes with Pyongyang at high alert over the COVID-19 pandemic and inter-Korean relations at a standstill. The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel near the western border island of Yeonpyeong on Monday, the official said. More than 24 hours later, North Korean forces located him in their waters and
The scarcity of commercial flights landing at Sydney Airport has been a disaster for airlines and workers, but for hobby pilots the COVID-19 pandemic has provided the opportunity of a lifetime. The quieter-than-usual runways mean that private pilots have been given the chance to land at the international airport for the first time. When Sydney Flight College club captain Tim Lindley put out a call, he received an overwhelming response. He eventually organized for 14 light aircraft to fly into Sydney airport on Sunday. “For a lot of the pilots involved, including myself, it was a childhood dream to land in a big