Foreign Secretary William Hague condemns 'cowardly' bomb attacks in Uganda

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The Independent Online

Foreign Secretary William Hague today condemned "cowardly" suicide bomb attacks which killed more than 60 people gathered to watch the World Cup final on TV in Uganda.

Mr Hague said he was "deeply shocked" to hear of the blasts in the capital Kampala which targeted a rugby club and a restaurant.

Police there suspected the Somali militant group al-Shabab was behind the attacks, and Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni vowed: "We shall get them wherever they are."

The Foreign Secretary said in a statement: "I was deeply shocked to hear of the bomb attacks that took place in Kampala last night, which left many people dead and injured.

"I send my heartfelt sympathies to President Museveni and the people of Uganda, in particular the families and friends of those who lost their lives, and wish a full and speedy recovery to those who were injured.

"These were cowardly attacks during an event that was widely seen as a celebration of African unity, and I condemn them in the strongest possible terms.

"The UK will stand with Uganda in fighting such brutal acts of violence and terror."

The attack on the rugby club, where crowds sat outside watching a large-screen TV, left 49 dead. Fifteen others were killed in the restaurant.

Al-Shabab is known to have links with al Qaida, and it counts militant veterans from the Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan conflicts among its ranks. Simultaneous attacks are also one of al Qaida's hallmarks.

Shadow foreign secretary David Miliband said: "My thoughts are with the families of those killed and injured.

"This mindless violence, aimed at people enjoying what has been a celebration of African unity, is deeply shocking.

"It is tragic that, when a celebration of sport brings unity, terrorists try to bring division."