July 2010 Kampala attacks

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July 2010 Kampala attacks
July 2010 Kampala attacks.png
Map of the two attack locations
Location Kampala, Uganda
Date11 July 2010
10:25 pm – 11:18 pm, approximately [1] (UTC+3)
TargetCrowds watching broadcasts of the FIFA World Cup Final
Attack type
Suicide bombing
Deaths74 [2] [3]
Non-fatal injuries
71 [2] [4]
Perpetrators Al-Shabaab

The July 2010 Kampala attacks were suicide bombings carried out against crowds watching a screening of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final match at two locations in Kampala, the capital city of Uganda, on 11 July 2010. The attacks left 74 dead and 71 injured. Al-Shabaab, an Islamist militia based in Somalia that has ties to Al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the blasts as retaliation for Ugandan support for AMISOM. [5] In March 2015, the trial of 13 Kenyan, Ugandan and Tanzanian alleged perpetrators of the bombings began at the High Court of Uganda. [6]

2010 FIFA World Cup Final final game of the 2010 FIFA World Cup

The 2010 FIFA World Cup Final was a football match that took place on 11 July 2010 at Soccer City in Johannesburg, South Africa, to determine the winner of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Spain defeated the Netherlands 1–0 with a goal from Andrés Iniesta four minutes from the end of extra time. English referee Howard Webb was selected to officiate the match, which was marked by an unusually high number of yellow cards.

Kampala Capital city in Uganda

Kampala is the capital and largest city of Uganda. The city is divided into five boroughs that oversee local planning: Kampala Central Division, Kawempe Division, Makindye Division, Nakawa Division, and Rubaga Division. Surrounding Kampala is the rapidly growing Wakiso District, whose population more than doubled between 2002 and 2014 and as of 2014 Wakiso was reported to stand at over 2 million.

Uganda Republic in East Africa

Uganda, officially the Republic of Uganda, is a country in East-Central Africa. It is bordered to the east by Kenya, to the north by South Sudan, to the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to the south-west by Rwanda, and to the south by Tanzania. The southern part of the country includes a substantial portion of Lake Victoria, shared with Kenya and Tanzania. Uganda is in the African Great Lakes region. Uganda also lies within the Nile basin, and has a varied but generally a modified equatorial climate.



The Al-Shabaab militant group grew into a potent force against the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia and threatened attacks against foreign and AMISOM troops deployed against it in the country, including those from Uganda. The July 2010 attack in Kampala was seen as revenge against the Ugandan forces' presence in Somalia. [7] Al Qaeda was also rumoured to have been involved in Somalia. The Kampala attack followed American warnings of attacks on Air Uganda planes in 2010. [8]

Al-Shabaab (militant group) Somalia-based cell of the militant Islamist group al-Qaeda

Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen, more commonly known as al-Shabaab, is a jihadist fundamentalist group based in East Africa. In 2012, it pledged allegiance to the militant Islamist organization Al-Qaeda. In February 2012, some of the group's leaders quarreled with Al-Qaeda over the union, and quickly lost ground. Al-Shabaab's troop strength was estimated at 7,000 to 9,000 militants in 2014. As of 2015, the group has retreated from the major cities, however al-Shabaab still controls large parts of the rural areas.

Somalia Federal republic in Africa

Somalia, officially the Federal Republic of Somalia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Ethiopia to the west, Djibouti to the northwest, the Gulf of Aden to the north, the Guardafui Channel and Somali Sea to the east, and Kenya to the southwest. Somalia has the longest coastline on Africa's mainland, and its terrain consists mainly of plateaus, plains and highlands. Climatically, hot conditions prevail year-round, with periodic monsoon winds and irregular rainfall.

Meridiana Africa Airlines (Uganda) Limited, trading as Air Uganda, was a privately owned airline in Uganda from 2007 to 2014. It suspended its operations when the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) revoked the airline's air operator's certificate.


The first bombing was carried out at a restaurant called the Ethiopian Village, situated in the Kabalagala neighbourhood, with many of the victims foreigners. [9] Fifteen people died in this attack. [3] The Kabalagala bombing occurred during the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final. [10]

Kabalagala Place in Central Uganda, Uganda

Kabalagala is a neighborhood in Kampala, the capital and largest city in Uganda.

The second attack, consisting of two explosions in quick succession, occurred at 11:18 pm at Kyadondo Rugby Club in Nakawa, where state-run newspaper New Vision was hosting a screening of the match. [11] According to eyewitnesses, there was an explosion near the 90th minute of the match, followed seconds later by a second explosion that knocked out the lights at the field. [12] An explosion went off directly in front of a large screen that was showing the telecast from South Africa, [10] killing 49 people. [3] The discovery of a severed head and leg at the rugby field suggests that it was a suicide attack carried out by an individual. [3] A third unexploded vest was later found. [13] A Uganda Police Force officer stated the total death toll as 64. [3] A further 71 were hospitalized, 14 of whom were treated for minor injuries and later discharged. [1]

Kyadondo Rugby Club is a rugby union ground in Kampala, Uganda.

Nakawa Place in Uganda

Nakawa is an area in the city of Kampala, Uganda's capital. It is also the location of the headquarters of Nakawa Division, one of the five administrative divisions of Kampala.

Suicide attack attack in which the attacker knows they will die

A suicide attack is any violent attack in which the attacker accepts their own death as a direct result of the method used to harm, damage or destroy the target. Suicide attacks have occurred throughout history, often as part of a military campaign such as the Japanese kamikaze pilots of World War II, and more recently as part of terrorist campaigns, such as the September 11 attacks.

Uganda Police Force Inspector General Kale Kayihura stated, "The information we have indicates the people who have attacked the Ethiopian Village were probably targeting expatriates." [2]

General Edward Kalekezi Kayihura Muhwezi, commonly known as Kale Kayihura, is a Ugandan lawyer, military officer, farmer and former policeman. He was the Inspector General of Police (IGP) of the Uganda Police Force, the highest rank in that branch of Uganda's government, from 2005 until 5 March 2018. He was succeeded by Martin Okoth Ochola in an unexpected reshuffle which also saw the Minister for security replaced.

Initial reports of further blasts in the neighbourhoods of Ntinda and Bwaise were false. [10]

Ntinda Place in Uganda

Ntinda is a location in northeastern Kampala, the capital city of Uganda.

Bwaise Place in Central Uganda, Uganda

Bwaise is a neighborhood within Kampala, Uganda's capital, and largest city. Due to lack of proper urban planning, it has grown into a commercial, industrial and residential township with poor infrastructure. The lack of developed infrastructure and poor service provision has exposed the town dwellings and residents to several challenges including flooding and water borne diseases.


Deaths by nationality
Flag of Uganda.svg Uganda62
Flag of Eritrea.svg Eritrea6
Flag of Ethiopia.svg Ethiopia1
Flag of Ireland.svg Ireland1
Flag of Kenya.svg Kenya1
Flag of Sri Lanka.svg Sri Lanka1
Flag of India.svg India1
Flag of the United States.svg United States1

Most of the dead were Ugandan. Others included: a Sri Lankan, [14] an Indian, [15] an Irish Lay missionary, [16] [17] one American, [18] one Ethiopian, [19] six Eritreans, [19] and one Kenyan. [20]

The injured also included six Methodist missionaries from a Pennsylvania church. [5]


Ugandan police made arrests in the days following the attack. [13] Another Ugandan was arrested in Kenya over the attacks. [21] Twenty people were arrested, including several Pakistanis, and Interpol also published facial reconstructions of two suspected bombers. [22] [23]

Uganda's police said they had come to believe two suicide bombers were part of the attacks. Facial reconstructions of the two suspected suicide bombers suggested one was of Somali origin and the other a black African of unknown origin. "There is strong evidence that these attacks were carried out by suicide bombers." The facial identification were on two bodies which "have remained unclaimed and unidentified." [24]

Three Kenyans — Hussein Hassan Agad, Mohamed Adan Abdow and Idris Magondu — were charged with 76 counts of murder. The Chief Magistrate, however, said they were not allowed to enter a plea because the court does not have jurisdiction to rule on the crime of terrorism. They are due back in court on 27 August, but will not be permitted to plead until the Directorate of Public Prosecutions decides the case is ready to move to the High Court. [25] On 12 August 2010, chief of military intelligence James Mugira stated that all suspects at the time had been arrested. [26] On 18 August 2010, Ugandan officials charged 32 people with murder. John Kagezi, the state attorney, said four of those charged confessed to the attacks. Court Hearings were to start for the Ugandan, Kenyan and Somali nationals on 2 September 2010; though police said continued investigations were ongoing and that more arrests may follow. [27]


Al-Shabaab, one of the groups in the Islamist insurgency in Somalia, has claimed responsibility for the attacks. The Wall Street Journal quotes an unnamed al-Shabaab senior leader stating, "We have reached our objective. We killed many Christians in the enemy capital (Kampala)." Reports also allege confirmation from other al-Shabaab militants. [28] This is al-Shabaab's first attack outside of Somalia. [29] On 9 July, al-Shabaab leader Sheikh Mukhtar Robow had called for attacks against Uganda and Burundi. Al-Shabaab leader Sheik Yusuf Sheik Issa told Reuters "Uganda is a major infidel country supporting the so-called government of Somalia. We know Uganda is against Islam and so we are very happy at what has happened in Kampala. That is the best news we ever heard." [30] However he refused to confirm or deny responsibility after the attacks, also stating, "Uganda is one of our enemies. Whatever makes them cry, makes us happy. May Allah's anger be upon those who are against us." [3] By 12 July, Sheik Ali Mohamud Rage from Mogadishu stated "We will carry out attacks against our enemy wherever they are ... No one will deter us from performing our Islamic duty." [31] Sheik Ali Mohamud Rage, a spokesman for the group saying "Al-Shabab was behind the two blasts in Uganda. We thank the mujahideens that carried out the attack. We are sending a message to Uganda and Burundi, if they do not take out their Amisom troops from Somalia, blasts will continue and it will happen." [32]

On the 9 July 2017, Al-Shabaab released a video featuring one of the suicide bombers. [33]


Supranational bodies
An anonymous U.S. government official confided to Jake Tapper of ABC News an administration belief that Al-Qaeda is a "racist organisation" which practices discriminatory techniques and sentiments in the deployment of black African operatives (e.g., only targeting black African recruits for lower-level missions such as suicide bombings) because economic conditions in most African countries supposedly make black Africans more susceptible to recruitment than Arabs. [40]


2011 sentencings without trial

In 2011, Edris Nsubuga, aged 31, was sentenced to three concurrent 25-year sentences for his involvement in the Kampala attacks. After expressing regret and indicating that he had taken part in the bombings under threat of decapitation, he was spared the death penalty. Additionally, 24-year-old Muhamoud Mugisha was sentenced to five years imprisonment for conspiring to commit terrorism. [6] They later provided importance evidence in the subsequent trial of 13 men. [41]

2015 sentencings after trial

In March 2015, the trial of 13 other men suspected of having been involved in the 2010 Kampala bombings began at the High Court of Uganda. The hearings had been delayed for five years due to court challenges by the apprehended individuals, who accused the Ugandan police and security agencies of torture and illegal rendition. The seven Kenyans, five Ugandans, and one Tanzanian were each charged with terrorism, murder, attempted murder, and of being accessories to terrorism, All but one were accused of being Al-Shabaab members. [6]

The trial was again delayed when the prosecutor, Joan Kagezi, was murdered on 30 March 2015, purportedly by agents of Al-Shabaab. The trial resumed in June 2015. [41]

In May 2016, all defendants were acquitted of being members of Al-Shabaab because, in 2010, that organization was not listed by Uganda as a terrorist organization. Seven of the suspects were convicted of terrorism, murder, and attempted murder. Ugandan Isa Ahmed Luyima, who is thought to have orchestrated the attacks, Kenyan Hussein Hassan Agad, Kenyan Idris Magondu, Kenyan Habib Suleiman Njoroge, and Kenyan Muhammed Ali Muhamed were sentenced to life imprisonment. The other two, Ugandan Hassan Haruna Luyima and Tanzanian Suleiman Hajjir Nyamandondo, were sentenced to 50 years imprisonment. Five of the suspects were acquitted (Kenyan Yahya Suleiman Mbuthia, Kenyan Muhammed Hamid Suleiman, Kenyan Mohammed Awadh, Ugandan Abubakari Batemetyo, and Ugandan Ismail Kalule). Ugandan Muzafaru Luyima was acquitted of terrorism but convicted of aiding the attackers. He was sentenced to one year of community service. Two sets of brothers were tried in this case: Isa Ahmed Luyima and Muzafaru Luyima; Yahya Suleiman Mbuthia and Habib Suleiman Njoroge. [42] [43] [44] [45] [46]

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Coordinates: 00°18′49″N32°34′52″E / 0.31361°N 32.58111°E / 0.31361; 32.58111