From late October to mid November 2021, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) and the Islamic State organization carried out four bombing attacks across Uganda.

2021 Uganda bombings
Part of the Allied Democratic Forces insurgency
LocationKampala (first and fourth attacks)
Mpigi District (second attack)
Nakaseke District (third attack)
Date23 October
25 October
29 October
16 November
TargetCivilians, security forces
Attack type
Bombings, suicide bombings
WeaponsIED, Explosive belt
Deaths11 (including four perpetrators)
PerpetratorsIslamic State – Central Africa Province (first and fourth attacks)
Allied Democratic Forces (second attack)
MotiveIslamic extremism



The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) is an Islamic extremist terrorist group originated in Uganda but is based in the nearby Democratic Republic of the Congo. The group's insurgency began in 1996; it kills hundreds of civilians every year, mainly by attacking villages. The most deadly ADF attack in Uganda was on 8 June, 1998, when the group attacked the Uganda Technical College, Kichwamba in Kabarole District, killing 80 students and abducting about 100.[1] In 1997, another major attack was carried out, when the group threw bombs into taxis and public buildings,[2] killing more than 50 people and wounding about 160 others.[3]

On 11 July, 2010, suicide bombings were carried out against crowds watching a screening of 2010 FIFA World Cup Final match during the World Cup at two locations in Kampala. The attacks killed 74 people and wounded 70 more. Al-Shabaab, a jihadist Somali terrorist group, claimed responsibility for the attacks as retaliation for Ugandan support for AMISOM.[4]

Attacks in 2021


After 11 years of relative calm, the ADF targeted Uganda in 2021 with the help of Islamic State-linked terrorists.

On 1 June, General Katumba Wamala was travelling in a vehicle when four gunmen appeared and opened fire, wounding Wamala and killing his driver and his daughter.[5][6][7][8] A month later, the authorities revealed that the attackers were Islamic extremists who were trained in a jihadist camp in North Kivu, Congo, and had links with the ADF and the Islamic State.[9]

On 27 August, the authorities arrested an ADF member for planning a suicide bombing attack at the funeral of a police commander, who was a major figure in the arrest of group's members.[10] Between July and August, at least 25 civilians were killed in Lwengo and Masaka. The victims were killed in their houses and in the streets by knifemen during the night. While the motive behind the killings and the identities of the perpetrators is not confirmed so far, authorities suspected that ADF terrorists were behind the murders.[11]



On 8 October, Islamic State militants bombed a police post in Kawempe. Nobody was injured in the attack. It was the first time that the Islamic State claimed responsibility for an attack in Uganda.[12]

On 14 October, the United Kingdom issued a warning of an imminent terrorist attack, calling on their nationals to be extremely vigilant about their security "especially in crowded and public places like hotels, transport hubs, restaurants and bars, and during major gatherings like sporting or religious events."[13] The Uganda Police Force issued a statement urging the public to keep calm as they "continue to review our security posture across the country which continues to be maintained as normal."[14] The attacks are believed to be a retaliation for the recent round-up by the Ugandan police against persons believed to have links with Islamic State – Central Africa Province (IS-CAP). Uganda has also openly offered to help Congo fight the group and has maintained that all that is required is greenlight from Kinshasa to deploy to Beni.[citation needed]

At 9 p.m. on 23 October, a bomb exploded in a bar in Komamboga, a suburb in Kawempe North, Kampala, killing a waitress and injuring three other people.[15] Three men, pretending to be customers, brought the bomb into the restaurant in a polythene bag and left it under a table, leaving before it exploded.[15] On 24 October, the Islamic State claimed responsibility, saying they targeted the establishment because it is frequented by government employees.[15]

At 5 p.m. on 25 October, a suicide bomber blew himself up on a bus in Lungala, Mpigi District, carrying 52 passengers. Three people were wounded in the attack.[16] The bus was travelling between Masaka and Kampala. The attacker was the only one who died in the incident. A day later, authorities identified him as a member of the ADF.[17]

On 29 October, two children were killed during a bomb explosion at a village in Nakaseke District. The device looked like an exotic “jackfruit” and was given to the children while they were playing. The victims were a 14-year-old and a disabled child.[18]



On 16 November, at around 10:03 a.m., three suicide bombers attacked two targets in Kampala within three minutes of each other. The first bomber blew himself up at checkpoint of the Central Police Station (CPS) just opposite Kooki Towers building along Buganda Road, killing two people and injuring several others, including police officers at the entrance of the police station. The explosion shuttered glass windows on the CPS building and the Kooki Tower building. Two other bombers then exploded at Jubilee House along Parliamentary Avenue about 100 meters from the entrance of the Parliament, killing two more people and injuring many others. The people killed were three civilians and one policeman. Thirty-three more were injured, including five in critical conditions.[19] More bombs have been found in other parts of the city.[20] The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks.[21] Security forces killed seven suspects and arrested 106 more in connection to the attack days later.[22]

See also



  1. ^ "Inside the Komamboga terror attack". Daily Monitor. 25 October 2021.
  2. ^ "HOSTILE TO DEMOCRACY". Human Rights Watch. Archived from the original on 2001-05-04. Retrieved 2021-11-16.
  3. ^ Terrorism Profile - UgandaPrivacy International Archived 2008-01-06 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Uganda Blasts: American Killed, Missionaries Hurt". AOL News. 12 July 2010. Archived from the original on 13 July 2010.
  5. ^ Sam Waswa (1 June 2021). "General Katumba Wamala Attacked by Gunmen; Daughter Reported Dead". Chimp Reports. Retrieved 1 June 2021.
  6. ^ "Assassination attempt on Ugandan minister kills 2". Deutsche Welle. 1 June 2021. Retrieved 1 June 2021.
  7. ^ "Katumba Wamala: Uganda minister shot in assassination attempt". BBC News. 1 June 2021. Retrieved June 1, 2021.
  8. ^ "Assassination attempt on Ugandan minister kills daughter and driver". The Guardian. 1 June 2021. Retrieved 1 June 2021.
  9. ^ "Uganda links Islamist rebels to attempted murder of minister". Reuters. 1 July 2021.
  10. ^ "Uganda: We're Planning to Attack and Eliminate Allied Democratic Forces From DR Congo - Museveni". All Africa. 27 August 2021.
  11. ^ "Uganda: Masaka Killings - Govt Recovers Shs5.2m Condolence Money From Imposters". All Africa. 24 October 2021.
  12. ^ "Deadly blast in Ugandan capital a 'terrorist act': President". France24. 24 October 2021.
  13. ^ "United Kingdom issues Uganda terror alert". The East African. 2021-10-18. Retrieved 2021-11-16.
  14. ^ "Security urges the public to keep calm despite the advisories from the UK and French embassies". UPF. 2021-10-18. Retrieved 2021-11-16.
  15. ^ a b c "IS claims responsibility for bomb attack in Uganda". Reuters. 2021-10-25. Retrieved 2021-11-16.
  16. ^ "Dead passenger in Mpigi bus explosion was terrorist, says Museveni". Daily Monitor. 26 October 2021.
  17. ^ "Uganda bus blast a 'suicide bomb attack': police". France24. 26 October 2021.
  18. ^ "Fruit-shaped bomb kills 2 children in Uganda". Al Jazeera. 30 October 2021.
  19. ^ "Uganda's capital Kampala hit by twin suicide bombings: Police". Al Jazeera. 16 November 2021.
  20. ^ "Kampala blasts: Suicide bombers target Ugandan capital". BBC. 16 November 2021.
  21. ^ "Triple suicide bombers in Uganda capital kill three civilians, wound dozens". Reuters. 16 November 2021.
  22. ^ "Several suspects killed in Uganda after bombings: Police". Al Jazeera. 22 November 2021.