Uganda (MNN) — Anti-terrorism police in Uganda are pursuing members of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), an Islamic State affiliate, following Tuesday’s explosions in the capital.
Three suicide bombers carried out coordinated attacks near a police station and parliament building. Police then “caught another person who was preparing to carry out an attack,” spokesperson Fred Enanga said yesterday.
Two of the three blast victims were police officers; 33 people were injured, and five remain in critical condition.
“We’re seeing the rise of militant Islam,” Greg Musselman with Voice of the Martyrs Canada says.
“The climate in Uganda has become very dangerous, and people are very scared.”
Tuesday’s violence is the latest in a series of attacks in recent weeks. On October 23, an explosion at a restaurant in Kampala killed one and wounded seven. Two days later, a suicide bombing on a passenger bus killed only the attacker.
Uganda is traditionally viewed as East Africa’s stronghold against radical Islam, but that position may be shifting.
“When you [see] attacks against government people, this is similar to what’s happened in Nigeria with Boko Haram. We’re also seeing an increase of persecution against the Christians (in Uganda),” Musselman says.
Persecution in Uganda
Persecutors often target church leaders, as well as believers from a Muslim background. Two weeks ago, Mustafa Obbo – a former sheik (Islamic teacher) who came to Christ – was burned to death by his brothers and several Islamic extremists. The same brothers beat Obbo and tried to kill him last month when he came home to visit his ailing mother.
“There’s a lot of fear. A lot of people say they’re not going to church, or they’re going to go ‘low profile’ or ‘low key,’ yet others are emboldened. The big thing we need to do is to pray, and then support those being attacked,” Musselman says.
“Voice of the Martyrs [is] coming along[side] the families of the evangelists and the pastors in Uganda [who were persecuted] to help them continue to present the Gospel and not be stopped by fear.”
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Header image courtesy of Voice of the Martyrs Canada.