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Uganda on alert over Somali Islamist threat

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Ugandan police said Friday they had received credible information that Somalia's Al Qaeda-linked Shebab group was planning an attack in Uganda.

"We have received information that Shebab terrorists... plan to carry out attacks within the eastern Africa region and in particular Uganda," police spokesperson Judith Nabakooba said at a press conference.

"Together with other security agencies, we are verifying this information that we take to be credible," she said, adding that Uganda's services were "activating measures to avert the evil plans of these dangerous criminals."

In July 2010, the Shebab claimed responsibility for an attack that killed at least 76 people and left 70 others injured when explosions ripped through a sports bar and an Ethiopian restaurant in Kampala as people watched the football World Cup final.

Uganda was the first country to contribute troops to the African Union force in Somalia (AMISOM) in 2007 and remains the mission's backbone.

The force continues to protect the Western-backed Somali government and has since 2011 scored significant victories in its battle to stamp out the Shebab.

The 2010 attacks were the worst in east Africa since Al-Qaeda targeted the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.

Although the Shebab are reeling from a string of military losses to AMISOM forces, the group claimed responsibility for an April 14 attack in the main court complex in Somalia's capital that left at least 34 people dead.

The attack was of a complexity unprecedented in Somalia and involved a car bomb, suicide bombers and gunmen.

Last month the militants retook the town of Hudur in southern Ethiopia, in the first territorial fight-back for several months, after Ethiopian troops left the town.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130426/uganda-alert-over-somali-islamist-threat