Two bombings in Kampala, Uganda, late Sunday evening killed 64 people gathered to watch the World Cup final, the Washington Post
reports. The dead included at least one American.
Uganda's chief of police immediately blamed Somalia's al-Shabab, a hard-line militia with ties to al-Qaeda. Al-Shabab has perpetrated several bombings in Somalia over the past few weeks and has threatened to retaliate against peacekeeping forces from Uganda and Burundi. Last week, al-Shabab's leader accused African Union peacekeepers of participating in "massacres" in the Somalian capital of Mogadishu.
The group, considered a terrorist organization by the U.S. government, seeks to create an Islamic emirate in Somalia. It has imposed Taliban-like edicts, including a ban on soccer, which it calls a "satanic" sport that corrupts Muslims. Al-Shabab also banned broadcasts of the World Cup. Despite the appearance of a motive, the group has not claimed responsibility for the Sunday attacks.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton promised that the U.S. would do anything necessary to assist Uganda after the tragedies, and offered her condolences. "The United States stands with Uganda," she said. "We have a long-standing, close friendship with the people and government of Uganda and will work with them to bring the perpetrators of this crime to justice."
Uganda is a key American ally in Africa and a training ground for soldiers from Somalia's transitional government, which al-Shabab is trying to overthrow.
, foreign policy