October 18, 2013 (KAMPALA) - Uganda on Friday said it was on alert after a warning from the local American embassy that the country was at risk of being attacked by terrorists.
The American embassy warned earlier in the week that terrorists planned a ‘‘Westgate-style attack’’ on Uganda’s capital Kampala.
Westgate is a reference to the September 21 attack of a mall in Kenya in which 67 people were killed by terrorists in Nairobi.
On Friday morning the Uganda police issued a statement to the public saying: ‘‘As we start this day, we encourage you to stay alert and watch each other’s steps and activities as we are still threatened by terror.’’
Security was tightened at public places in Uganda’s capital and at other public places across the country.
Shortly after the attack on Westgate, an Israeli owned shopping mall frequented by Kenya’s affluent and westerners in the country, Uganda’s chief of defence forces Gen Katumba Wamala said security services in Uganda had been put on red alert to avert possible terror attacks.
In October, Uganda police issued a public notice saying Mueller alias Ahmed Khaleda, a terrorist of German origin had sneaked into Uganda from Kenya. There has not been report of arrest in Uganda of the suspected German terrorist.
The Somali militant group Al-Shabaab claimed the attack on the Kenyan mall in September. The group said it had attacked Kenya because of alleged abuses carried out by Kenyan soldiers in Somalia.
Uganda and Kenya have troops in Somalia under the auspices of the African Union (AU). Both countries have been attacked by terrorists before. In 2010, a bomb blast in Kampala killed 76 people.