Bombs strike World Cup fans in Uganda

Simultaneous bombings bearing the hallmarks of international terrorists ripped through crowds watching the World Cup final in Uganda's capital, killing 64 people.

One American was killed and several were wounded.

The deadliest attack occurred at a rugby club in Kampala last night as people watched the game between Spain and Holland on a large-screen TV outdoors.

The second blast took place at an Ethiopian restaurant, where at least three Americans were wounded.

One American was killed in the blasts, said Joann Lockard, a spokeswoman for the US embassy in Kampala.

Kampala's police chief said he believed Somalia's most feared militant group, al-Shabab, could be responsible for the attack. Al-Shabab is known to have links with al-Qa'ida, and counts militant veterans from the Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan conflicts among its ranks.

Body parts found at the rugby club suggested a suicide bomber may have been to blame, a reporter at the scene said.

At least three Americans - part of a church group from Pennsylvania - were injured at the restaurant. One was Kris Sledge, 18, of Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania.

"I remember blacking out, hearing people screaming and running," Mr Sledge said from the hospital, where his right leg was bandaged and he had burns on his face.

"I love the place here but I'm wondering why this happened and who did this. At this point we're just glad to be alive."

At the scenes of both blasts, blood and flesh littered the floor among overturned chairs.

Police chief Kale Kaihura originally said at least 30 people had been killed, though the toll could be higher.

Later, a senior police officer at the scene said that 64 people had been killed - 49 from the rugby club and 15 at the Ethiopian restaurant.

Mr Kaihura said he suspected al-Shabab, that country's most hardline militant group. Its fighters, including two recruited from the Somali communities in the US, have carried out multiple suicide bombings in Somalia.

If so it would be the first time the group has carried out attacks outside of Somalia.

Simultaneous attacks are also one of al-Qa'ida's hallmarks.

In Mogadishu, Somalia's capital, Sheik Yusuf Sheik Issa, an al-Shabab commander, said early today that he was happy with the attacks in Uganda but refused to confirm or deny that al-Shabab was responsible.

"Uganda is one of our enemies. Whatever makes them cry, makes us happy. May Allah's anger be upon those who are against us," he said.

During weekly Friday prayers in Somalia two days before the double bombing, another al-Shabab commander, Sheik Muktar Robow, called for militants to attack sites in Uganda and Burundi - two nations that contribute troops to the African Union peacekeeping force in Mogadishu.

In addition to its troops in Mogadishu, Uganda also hosts Somali soldiers trained in US and European-backed programmes.

White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said today the US was prepared to provide any necessary assistance to the Ugandan government.

"The president is deeply saddened by the loss of life resulting from these deplorable and cowardly attacks, and sends his condolences to the people of Uganda and the loved ones of those who have been killed or injured," Mr Vietor said.

Kenya's foreign minister Moses Wetangula said last week that enough veteran militants from the Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan conflicts had relocated to Somalia to spark worry inside the international community.

Foreign fighters have flocked to Somalia because the country's government controls only a few square miles of the Mogadishu, leaving most of the rest of the country as lawless territory where insurgents can train and plan attacks unimpeded.

US secretary of state Hillary Clinton said the US would work with the Ugandan government "to bring the perpetrators of this crime to justice".

Suggested Topics
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
News
Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, left, with her daughter, Bristol
newsShe's 'proud' of eldest daughter, who 'punched host in the face'
Life and Style
The Google Doodle celebrating the start of the first day of autumn, 2014.
tech
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Life and Style
Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Life and Style
food + drink
News
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
News
A cabin crew member photographed the devastation after one flight
news
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Pharmaceutical Computer System Validation Specialist

£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pharmaceutical Computer ...

High Level Teaching Assistant (HTLA)

£70 - £90 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Higher Level Teaching Assist...

Teaching Assistant

£50 - £80 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Randstad Education is the UK...

Senior Java Developer - API's / Webservices - XML, XSLT

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently ...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits