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Uganda on alert after Kenya terror attack

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September 24, 2013 (KAMPALA) – A top Uganda military general has said the country is on alert following a terror attack in neighbouring Kenya in which 65 people were killed and 175 injured.

Gen Katumba Wamala, Uganda’s Chief of Defence Forces, told the press in Kampala on Tuesday that security services in the country were on alert after Al-Shabaab militants struck a shopping mall in the Kenya capital Nairobi.

‘‘We are on alert. We have heightened security. It is red alert. We are raising awareness and alerting people. When you go to the malls, you find more alertness,’’ said Katumba Wamala speaking at the headquarters of the Ugandan military.

Al-Shabaab militants on Saturday attacked the Westgate mall in Kenya saying it was in retaliation for alleged killings in Somalia by Kenya Defence Forces (KDF).

Kenya has forces deployed in Somali under the auspices of the African Union (AU) to fight Al-Shabaab alongside Somali troops.

Uganda and Burundi were the first countries to deploy troops in Somali in 2007 under the AMISOM, the AU mission in the country. Uganda has close to 7,000 troops in Somalia.

In 2010, the Al-Shabaab struck Kampala in a twin attack killing 74 people; most of them were enjoying a world cup game at a popular rugby ground in the city while others were killed in an Ethiopian restaurant in the city.

Speaking at the headquarters of the Ugandan military in Kampala, the Uganda military chief called for more training of the public to raise their awareness about terrorism. He cautioned that Al- Shabaab is capable of using any trickery to carry out attacks on civilian targets including using trucks disguised as food delivery vehicles.

Media reports in Uganda on Tuesday said Al- Shabaab had in a warning posted online said it will strike Kampala, Addis Ababa in Ethiopia and Pretoria in South Africa.

(ST)

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