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Uganda back on alert over new Shebab threat


uganda mapUganda said Saturday it was boosting security measures following fresh threats against the east African nation by Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab rebels.

A statement by police said a new video purportedly from the Islamists and urging attacks in Uganda and Burundi — nations that both contribute troops to the African Union’s AMISOM force in Somalia — has been circulated online.

“The police and its sister security agencies are actively examining the contents and authenticity of a video allegedly posted by the Shebab,” Uganda police said in a statement, which suggested the threat was general rather than specific.

“We take seriously any potential threats and respond appropriately by implementing extra security precautions,” it added.

In 2010, the Shebab carried out twin bombings in Kampala targeting a restaurant and a club where football fans were watching the World Cup final between The Netherlands and Spain, killing 76 people in the region’s worst attacks in more than a decade.

Since then Ugandan and Western intelligence sources have said a series of Shebab plots to launch attacks have been stopped in Uganda.

The Islamists were also behind the September 2013 attack on the Westgate shopping mall in neighbouring Kenya’s capital Nairobi that left at least 67 dead, as well as the Garissa university massacre in April in which nearly 150 people died.

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