TERROR ATTACK

Heighten state of alert in Kenya

In Summary

• Two suicide bombers yesterday killed at least 3 people and 33 more in two separate explosions in central Kampala

• Islamic State is trying to control an arc of territory from the Maghreb to Mozambique

Firefighters extinguish car fires caused by a bomb explosion near Parliament building in Kampala, Uganda, on November 16, 2021.
Firefighters extinguish car fires caused by a bomb explosion near Parliament building in Kampala, Uganda, on November 16, 2021.
Image: IVAN KABUYE/AFP

Yesterday two bombs went off in central Kampala killing at least three people and injuring over 33 (see P4/5).

The three suicide bombers were most likely Ugandans who had joined the ADF rebel group in eastern Congo which has increasingly strong links to Islamic State.

Last month, IS claimed responsibility for bombs that went off on a bus and a bar in Kampala.

IS or Isis are making a big push to control an arc of territory through west Africa, the Maghreb, Congo, and eastern Africa down to Mozambique. Isis is trying to dislodge al Shabaab in Somalia. 

So eastern Africa is facing enhanced security risks, partly because of the progress of Isis.

Yet at the same time, three terrorists have just escaped from Kamiti maximum security prison. That laxity puts Kenyans at risk. They have probably fled to Somalia where they will be plotting further attacks.

The security services have done very well preventing terror attacks since the Dusit attack in January 2019. But we must not lapse into complacency. Kenya needs to step up security at its borders, enhance cooperation with international security agencies, and heighten our state of alert.

Quote of the day: "We cannot effect meaningful change if we become complacent, if we become comfortable with our own positions in the status quo."

Cyril Ramaphosa
The South African president was born on November 17, 1952