Joint Security Operatives Apprehend Suspected Terrorists in Nabweru

Joint security forces have apprehended several suspected terrorists in Nabweru, North Ward, Nansana Municipality, Wakiso District following a report of a bomb threat in the area. Our reporters arrived at the scene to find numerous security personnel, including members of various forces and the bomb squad. Residents had gathered in small groups away from their homes, fearing for their safety.

According to the UPDF first division spokesperson, Major Charles Kabona, security forces were investigating a suspected terrorist cell. They received intelligence that a group of criminal elements was using an unfinished bungalow house located 200 meters from Kukye Nabweru (Nabweru-Nansana Road) as their hideout to plan a bomb attack in the metropolitan area.

Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson, Luke Owoyesigyire, announced that six individuals, identified as Hamidu Ssekidde, Muhammad Kalyango, Abdul Katumba, Arafat Ssali, Emmanuel Assimwe, and Hamihud Muyonde, were suspected of assembling Improved Explosive Devices (IEDs).

During the police operation, they were found in possession of various items, such as petro, dynamites, candle wicks, matchboxes, blasting caps, electronic detonators, and non-electric safety fuses, which they were using to create the IEDs.

Although Owoyesigyire announced six individuals, some investigators our reporter spoke to claim that more than nine people linked to the terrorist cell have been arrested but not yet publicly named. One of the suspects arrested was a woman known as Hajjat, according to residents who identified her as the occupant of the house where the suspects were apprehended.

“I know Hajjat, she is always there. She sells water on that borehole. I don’t know the other guys,” a resident who rather refused to give his name noted. However, another woman who claimed to living in the same area said she had occasionally seen one of the suspects.

“I know that brown one, he has been coming here on a Boda boda,” she noted as the army moved the suspects out of the house. During the operation, there were some chaotic incidents at the scene. One of the suspects had hidden himself in the ceiling, and security forces tried to flush him out. Owoyesigyire said at first, he went unnoticed, but he was eventually discovered after he urinated and at the scene of the crime, officers saw the urine coming out of the ceiling.

As police fired tear gas, there was a loud explosion heard, causing panic among the gathered people, including journalists, who fled the scene for their safety. However, moments later, the suspect who had hidden in the ceiling was apprehended and put into a drone vehicle parked in the compound.

While the suspect was being placed in the car, another blast, similar to a bullet, was heard, causing people to flee again while security officers held their positions, brandishing their guns high, and preparing to respond to the unexpected sound. It was later confirmed that one of the suspects, Hamihud Muyonde, had been shot in the foot during the operation.

Joint Security Operatives Apprehend Suspected Terrorists in Nabweru
Resident watch operation from a distance. URN Photo

Luke Owoyesigyire explained that the incident occurred when one of the army officers failed to follow the protocols and accidentally discharged his gun, hitting the suspect and damaging the car’s fuel tank. Owoyesigyire added that the police had launched a separate investigation into the incident to determine what had gone wrong.

The injured suspect, who had been handcuffed with his arms behind his back, was later transferred to another military double cabin full of soldiers and reportedly taken to the hospital for treatment.

At the time of filing this story, the security operatives were still conducting investigations in the area, searching the house, and interrogating several individuals, including the local council leaders. The situation was still tense, and the residents of Nabweru North Ward in Nansana Municipality, Wakiso District, were advised to remain vigilant and cooperate with the security forces to ensure their safety.

Owoyesigyire stated that the suspects would be taken to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) headquarters for further questioning.

However, Major Kabona also stated that they had not yet linked the suspects to any known terrorist groups.

after the bomb attacks at Parliament Avenue and the Kampala Central Police Station in 2021, the police arrested a suspected suicide bomber who allegedly attempted to blow up Nansana town shortly after three of his colleagues had been killed in a double bomb blast.

The suspect was arrested from Katooke, which is one of the neighboring villages to the area where these new arrests have been made.

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