Uganda capital blasts 'kill at least two'

·2-min read

Two explosions in the heart of Uganda's capital have killed at least two people and sent parliamentarians rushing for cover as nearby cars burst into flames, witnesses and media report.

The blasts were the latest in a string of bombings over the past month.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

The al-Qaeda linked Somali insurgent group al-Shabab has carried out deadly attacks in Uganda and last month another group, the Islamic State-aligned Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), claimed its first attack in Uganda.

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.

"A booming sound like that from a big gun went off. The ground shook, my ears nearly went deaf," Peter Olupot, a 28-year-old bank guard who was near the attack, said.

"I saw a vehicle on fire and everyone was running and panicking. I saw a boda boda (motorcycle) man - his head was smashed and covered in blood."

A reporter for local television station NTV Uganda said he saw two bodies in the street.

Mulago Hospital was treating 24 blast victims, four of whom were in critical condition, Emmanuel Ainebyoona, a spokesman for the health ministry, said on Twitter.

A Ugandan military official, Brigadier Flavia Byekwaso, told Reuters there had been "multiple" blasts and "multiple" casualties but declined to give further details.

Uganda's police did not respond immediately to requests for comment.

Ugandan soldiers are fighting al-Shabab in Somalia as part of a UN-backed African Union peacekeeping force.

Al-Shabab's bombings in Uganda include a 2010 attack that killed 70 people watching the football World Cup.

Last month, the ADF made its first claim of responsibility for a blast in Uganda with a bomb - packed with shrapnel - that killed a waitress at a restaurant.

Also last month, Ugandan police said a suicide bomber had blown up a bus, killing himself and injuring others. His affiliation was unclear.

The ADF was established by Ugandan Muslims but now has its main bases in the forested mountains of the Democratic Republic of Congo, which borders Uganda.

The ADF and al-Shabab frequently use explosive devices and have been accused of killing thousands of civilians.

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