A suicide bomber from an Islamic militant group has detonated on a bus in Uganda, killing himself and injuring others. This is yet another attack in a series of explosions by terrorists across the country. Please pray for our church family there, and for God’s peace to settle over Uganda.
This is the second attack over three days in Uganda - please pray that militant Islamic groups from the DRC do not establish a firm foothold there
An explosion hit a moving bus in Uganda on Monday 25 October, killing one person and injuring others. The attack was carried out by a suicide bomber, identified as Isac Matovo. He was a member of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), an Islamic militant group linked to so-called Islamic State who are mostly active in the North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) – Uganda shares its west border with them.
The bomber was the only one that died, but the passenger sitting behind him was seriously injured. Mercifully, the rest of the passengers did not sustain serious injuries. The bus was traveling from Uganda's capital, Kampala, to Bushenyi, a town about 186 miles west.
Police officer Thomas Kiguli was one of the passengers. He said, “When we reached a place called Lungala in the Mpigi district, an explosion occurred in the middle of the bus. We all struggled to get out. Most of us got out through the windows.”
According to the Ugandan police, the ADF rebels are also responsible for another explosion that occurred on Saturday (23 October): a bomb exploded in a restaurant in the outskirts of Kampala on Saturday, killing one person and injuring three. These two attacks have come a few days after the UK warned that terrorists were about to strike in Uganda. Police called Saturday’s attack an ’act of domestic terror’ and the Islamic State later claimed responsibility.
Since the beginning of 2021, the ADF has expanded their activities from North Kivu in the DRC into the neighbouring Ituri Province – despite a state of calamity the DRC government set in place.
In March, the United States officially linked the ADF to the Islamic State group. The Catholic Church in the DRC says the ADF has killed around 6,000 civilians since 2013, while a respected monitor, the Kivu Security Tracker (KST), blames it for more than 1,200 deaths in the Beni area alone since 2017.
Uganda is not in the Top 50 countries on Open Doors’ World Watch List, but Christians there are experiencing increasing persecution. In certain Muslim-dominated areas, Christians – especially converts from Islam – already face a lot of pressure. These events are taking place against a backdrop of frustration over poor governance in both the DRC and Uganda, which often is fertile ground for the spread of radicalism.
Explore Among the Ashes, a new film and prayer resource for churches from Open Doors. It looks at how the biblical principle of lament can bring us hope and comfort, even in the darkest situations.
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