Blowing the world cup

by wonderfullyrich on July 11, 2010

I have to say the Netherlands screwed the cup, but that's not the blowing I was thinking about.  It's about 2:30am as I start writing this, and here is what I know.  At least 23 people probably closer to 50 people have died in what looks like 2 probably 3 bomb blasts of an unknown origin.  We were a friend of Katka's watching the world cup on a projector and enjoying pizza from a home made pizza oven.  

Literally right after the game, as I was writing my comments on the game ending, someone indicated there was a bomb blast in Kabalagala, just mins away from where we were. The taxi that we prearranged was stuck in the industrial area going cross town to get to us because of it.  We diverted to another cab and took the long way round, but had to go past the Rugby club (and we hoped we could).  By that time we knew of two blasts and that one was in Kyondo at the Rugby club and another in Kabalagala.  As we past the Rugby club, we saw a large crowd of people on one side of the road, and plenty of armed men both police and military, some interviewing people others looking at the crowd.  Thankfully we were able to move right along and get home.  

Arriving, we booted up and I can say that facebook is slammed right now. It took a while to dig up the Somali connection, as I've been in Burundi for the last month and haven't heard about the threats from Harakat al-Shabaab Mujahideen on both Uganda and Burundi based on the troops they have in Somalia. The reports varied all over the place and the third attack in Ntinda surfaced and still remains vague.  Later via the AP, CNN, and the local paper call the Daily Monitor I managed to piece together one bomb hit a restaurant called the Ethiopian Village in Kabalagala was attacked leaving 13 people dead, the Rugby club had 10 dead, and including the vague Ntinda attack the wounded/dead totals near 100.

I noted in a comment on Facebook, that I was confused about the targets.  Even with the alleged al-Shabaab connection, I'm not sure I understand why they choose there targets.  I don't really have enough to speculate, but I wondered about a relation between the Ethiopian restaurant and the rivalry between Somalia and their neighbor.  I saw pictures of the Rugby club, which lead me to believe they were after the international crowd and an easy target, but again this is speculation.  

I suspect that being in Burundi could be safer then being in Uganda for a time, but I'm worried about Burundi because of it's involvement in Somalia too.  Andrew & people are still there, but frankly I'm no longer worried about internationals in Burundi relating to the election (unless they are plain stupid).  The grenades and alike that are going on there are related to internal politics and they don't want international incidents like what we are seeing here in Uganda.  (Just to underline what International attention brings you.)  I am now worried that the bombers will be dumb and try and work on Burundi during this already high security time in Burundi.  Not an easy target, but not an overly hard one either.

I'm very curious to see if we will get sensible reactions out of the International countries who lost citizens tonight, and I'm very very curious how Uganda's government will react.  I'd like to see something smart about trying to fix the food, drought, general security issues that has driven Somali's to both become pirates and be inclined towards terrorist with money.  I fear I'm likely to see something about pulling out (in 6 months), or a retaliation, or strange security precautions taken in and around Uganda which seem unlikely to do much to hinder the motivated.  

In that vein, I'm somewhat curious if this was a one time shot, or if more bombs seem likely.  Obviously the city is going to be flooded with police and troops, but are more already in the pipe line?  

I have to admit that, although I thought what Alex and I saw at the embassy briefing in Burundi was a bit silly when you start mentioning wine and speed scrabble, the whole bit about not going to clubs, bars, or public places might be sensible for a while.  There are to many residences to hit simltaniously, and bombers want crowds.

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