Ugandan police said on Sunday that 19 suspected Islamist al-Shabaab insurgents arrested in weekend raids had planned to carry out bomb attacks, as the US embassy said the immediate threat had been “countered”.Police raids on Saturday came two weeks after Ugandan troops, fighting in Somalia, reportedly provided intelligence that helped US special forces kill al-Shabaab’s chief in a devastating air strike.
“Al-Shabaab planned to carry out attacks in Kampala and other towns over the weekend, but police working with sister agencies stopped these attacks and we have recovered the explosives they were to use,” police chief Kale Kayihura told AFP.
No details have been given of possible targets.
“We are interrogating 19 to see what leads we get to help expand the investigation,” police spokesman Fred Enanga said, adding the suspects were found with “explosive materials related to acts of terror”, and their intentions “were very, very clear”.
The US embassy on Sunday lifted warnings to its citizens to stay at home, but said people should remain vigilant.
“Based on coordination with Ugandan authorities, and taking into account the heightened security measures the government has put in place, we believe that the immediate threat of an al-Shabaab attack has been effectively countered,” the embassy said in a statement.