Uganda police force has confirmed that the second deadly bomb explosion on a bus belonging to Swift Bus Co. Ltd., that occurred at Lingala, in Mpigi District on Monday evening, was an act of Suicide Bomb attack. The attacker also died in the explosion, and critically injured one passenger.
CP Fred Enanga the police spokesperson told the media on Tuesday, that the joint task team of experts from Counterterrorism, Intelligence, and investigations, have confirmed the incident as a domestic act of terror with strong linkages to the ADF.
This is the first incident where a suicide operative, concealed a suicide vest and belt and detonated his bomb. The facts indicate that the attacker was in the company of another suspected terrorist and they both boarded Swift safaris bus reg no. UAU 9899T, loaded with passengers at Kisenyi Bus Terminal heading to Ishaka Bushenyi.
“The bus left Kampala at around 4 pm and made the first stopover at Maya checkpoint. Then proceeded, shortly after a distance less than two kilometers, one of the passengers asked the conductor to allow to him disembark from the bus go back and to Kampala because he was needed for abroad paperwork surrounding travel documents. The bus stopped and the conductor allowed him to disembark.
It was after a distance of about 8 to 10kms at a place identified as Iungala LCI, Maziba Ward Mpigi Town Council, Mpigi District that the bomb exploded in the bus.
The suicide bomber identified as Matovu Issac a 23-year-old male adult and resident of Kamuli “A” Zone in Kireka died on spot.
The immediate neighbor of the suicide bomber escaped without any injuries. However, a passenger who was seated behind the suicide attacker sustained critical injuries. He was identified as Superintendent of Police Adrian Kwetegyereza, Acting regional Police commander greater Bushenyi.
He was given first aid by the Cross Red team and rushed to one of the major Hospitals in Kampala for further treatment.
“Our joint team of bomb and forensic experts established after locating remnants of the bomb on the deceased, a detonator near his seat, metallic bearings, and seven-wire gadgets on him. He is the one who detonated the bomb that took his life and also critically injured an officer” Enanga said.
Both the conductor and the driver are being interrogated on how the suspect smuggled it onto the bus.
The remaining passengers are being monitored and statements have been obtained from some of them. Meanwhile, the passengers who were not taken to hospitals have all recorded statements with the police.
“We have established from the hallmarks of the attack and materials the bomb recovered, a connection with the attack that occurred 3 days ago in Kamamboga and could have been prepared in one place group or by the same group of attackers. This, therefore, implies that the attackers are using different strategies of suicide vests and belts, armed assailants on Boda bodas or motorcycles, and physical bomb attacks, targeting soft spots. We strongly believe the attackers are part of the sleeper cells in the country, inspired by ADF in close collaboration with the Islamic State” Enanga explained.
He added that from the police analysis, they are attacking soft targets, which are many and quite difficult to defend. The attackers also have plans of targeting civilians at easily accessible locations such as eating sports, public transportation like buses, taxis, places of worship, pedestrian area, bars operating stealthily, and any other crowded areas.
“We have further established that they are radicalizing and researching on how to build an improvised explosive devices and to carry out attacks in Uganda. The motive is clearly ideological and out of hatred by the ADF that could be harboring plans for a bigger plot. The group has been active since August 2021 and is strongly coordinated by one of the ADF Commanders based in the DRC, identified as Eddie Nkalubo aka Martin MD aka Benjo aka Benjamin Franklin aka Meddie Lee aka Punisher. He has been hiding in DRC for the last 6 years” Enanga says.
The police spokesperson says the same man coordinated the terror incident in Pader district, targeting mourners at the burial of the later DIGP Lt. Gen. Paul Lokech on 27.08.2021, but security managed to foil it.
Enanga says they are also tracking down several operators involved in money laundering and terrorism financing. So far, two people have been arrested and these are identified as Abdulaham Waibi and Sanyu Nakitende, who have so far received USD114,000 and distributed it to their recipients on behalf of the ADF.
Some of the money has also been channeled via petroleum companies and real estate dealers.