Al-Shabaab calls for attacks on Uganda, Burundi embassies

Somalia’s al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab militants have called for worldwide attacks on the embassies of Uganda and Burundi, whose troops make up a large African Union (AU) force in Somalia, a terror monitoring group said on Friday.

In a video aired on the Islamic militants’ “news channel,” al-Shabaab spokesperson Sheikh Mukhtar Robow calls “for attacks against the embassies of Uganda and Burundi around the world”, US monitoring group IntelCentre reported.

The hard-line Somali rebels promised on Thursday to turn Mogadishu into a graveyard for AU troops, after the pan-African body announced it had received pledges for 4 000 additional troops for the Somalia force, also known as Amisom.

Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage, another al-Shabaab spokesperson, had warned that beefing up the AU force, currently made up of about 6 000 Ugandan and Burundian soldiers, would only reinforce their jihad, or “holy war”.

The English-language video released on the group’s channel also claims responsibility for an attack on Soccer World Cup fans in Kampala, which killed 76 people on July 11, IntelCentre said.

Suicide bombers detonated deadly explosives in the midst of revellers watching the World Cup final at two separate entertainment venues in the Ugandan capital. Scores of people also were injured.

Uganda became the first country in early 2007 to dispatch troops to Amisom, which remains the main obstacle preventing al-Shabaab from seizing full control of the capital.

The July 11 blasts were the worst in East Africa since the 1998 bombing of US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam and which were also claimed by al-Qaeda.

According to the US monitoring group, al-Shabaab announced “the beginning of their own ‘news channel’ on July 27”.—Sapa-AFP

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