Two explosions in the heart of Uganda’s capital killed at least two people and sent parliamentarians rushing for cover as nearby cars burst into flames, witnesses and media reported, the latest in a string of bombings over the past month.
The explosions – one very close to parliament and one near the central police station – sent bloodied office workers scrambling for cover over shards of broken glass as a plume of white smoke rose above the downtown area, in what police termed “an attack” on the city.
Emmanuel Ainebyoona, a spokesman for the Ministry of Health, said in a Twitter post that least 24 people were hospitalised with injuries sustained in the blasts. Four of them are critically injured, he said.
“What we can say (is) this was an attack but who is responsible is a matter that is under investigation,” Uganda’s Assistant Inspector General of police Edward Ochom told the AFP news agency.
Some lawmakers were seen evacuating the precincts of the parliamentary building nearby, according to national broadcaster UBC.
A Ugandan news channel, NTV Uganda, reporter said he saw pieces of flesh scattered on the road.
The station said on Twitter that Salim Uhuru, Mayor of Kampala Central, had confirmed an acquaintance had been killed in one of the explosions.
Uganda Red Cross spokeswoman Irene Nakasiita told AFP it has dispatched a team to the area.
Security officers deployed sniffer dogs to search for evidence around the sites of the explosions.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility. The al Qaeda-linked Somali insurgent group al Shabaab has carried out deadly attacks in Uganda. Last month another group, the Islamic State-aligned Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), claimed its first attack in Uganda.
Also last month, Ugandan police said a suicide bomber had exploded on a bus, killing himself and injuring others. His affiliation was unclear.
Ugandan soldiers are fighting al Shabaab in Somalia as part of an UN-backed African Union peacekeeping force. Al Shabaab’s bombings in Uganda include a 2010 attack that killed 70 people watching the World Cup.
The ADF was originally established by Ugandan Muslims but now have their main bases in the forested mountains of the Democratic Republic of Congo, which borders Uganda.
Both the ADF and al Shabaab frequently use explosive devices and have been accused of killing thousands of civilians.