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article imageBombs kill World Cup fans in Uganda

By Kim I. Hartman     Jul 12, 2010 in World
Kampala - Seventy-four have died in two simultaneous bomb explosions that targeted World Cup fans watching the final in Uganda's capital of Kampala. Somali militant group Al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the attacks.
The two bombs exploded within 30 minutes of each other in Kampala killing and injuring dozens of people. One bomb exploded at an Ethiopian restaurant, the other blast occurred at a rugby sports club in the east of Kampala, reports Al Jazeera.
"We have 74 dead and 65 injured. The nationalities of all the fatalities will be released later," Judith Nabakooba, Uganda's national police spokesman, said on Monday. The number of wounded and confirmed dead is expected to rise. The hospital is at capacity for now and many are being cared for a field medical unit and are not included in the current tally.
The World Cup fans had gathered at both locations in Uganda's largest city and capital to watch the final between Spain and the Netherlands. Large screen television and seating areas had been arranged and constructed for the thousands of football fans who were in attendance.
"These bombs were definitely targeting World Cup crowds," Kale Kayihura, the inspector general of police, said.
Fan were carried out to makeshift medial areas after local hospitals had all bed filled following th...
Fan were carried out to makeshift medial areas after local hospitals had all bed filled following the terrorists bombs that exploded in Kampala.
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The US embassy confirmed that one US citizen was among the dead and a number of other foreigners were reported to be among the injured.
Some of the injured at the restaurant included six members of an American church mission working with a local congregation, according to the Rev. Kathleen Kind, pastor of Christ Community United Methodist Church in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania.
"All of our members are accounted for and all of the families have been contacted," Kind told CNN. She added that injuries ranged from broken bones and flesh wounds to temporary blindness and "hearing issues
President Barack Obama condemned the bombings. A spokesman quoted him as saying the attacks were "deplorable and cowardly". Mike Hammer, spokesman for the National Security Council, said in a statement that the US was "ready to provide any assistance requested by the Ugandan government."
Kale Kayihura said, "It was a deliberate, calculated attack to inflict maximum damage"
Speaking by phone to Al Jazeera, Kayihura said all the signs indicated that the bombings were a "deliberate terrorist attack by a terrorist organisation. This was a terrorist attack," he said. "It was a deliberate, calculated attack to inflict maximum damage."
With fans still in shock from what was supposed to be a lively crowd cheering on the team of choice to a bombing claiming the lives of so many innocent people, Juma Seiko who attended the Kampala Rugby Club event said, "We were watching soccer here and then when there were three minutes to the end of the match an explosion came ... and it was so loud."
In the Somali capital, Mogadishu, an al-Shabab commander told the Associated Press news agency early on Monday that he was happy with the attacks in Uganda, although he refused to confirm or deny that the group was responsible for the bombings.
"Uganda is one of our enemies. Whatever makes them cry, makes us happy," Sheik Yusuf Sheik Issa said.
On Friday, an al-Shabab commander, Sheik Muktar Robow, called for fighters to attack sites in Uganda and Burundi - two nations that contribute troops to the 6,000-strong African Union peacekeeping force in Mogadishu.
US officials added that they were in contact with the US embassy in Kampala and in touch with the Federal Bureau of Investigation regarding requests for assistance from Uganda's government.
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