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Uganda links Islamist rebels to attempted murder of minister

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By Reuters
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KAMPALA – The gunmen who tried to kill a Ugandan minister last month trained in an Islamist rebel camp in Democratic Republic of Congo, police said on Thursday.

Armed men on motorcycles intercepted Katumba Wamala, Uganda’s works and transport minister and a former military and police chief, as he drove through a suburb of the capital Kampala and peppered his vehicle with bullets.

The suspects are part of a team that trained in a camp in neighbouring Congo’s North Kivu province run by Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), an insurgent group, Deputy Police Chief Paul Lokech said.

The ADF claims links to Islamic State (IS). The rebel group originally started in Uganda but it now operates in the jungles of eastern DRC.

During the attack on Wamala, the assailants killed his daughter and his driver. He was injured while his body guard emerged unscathed.

“This is a straight forward case of political violence and domestic terrorism,” Lokech said in a statement.

Four more people who include those who directly participated in the attack had been arrested while a fifth had been killed during an operation to detain him, Lokech said.

On Monday, two suspects were charged for their role in the attack but security officials had not provided details of their investigation.

In a search of the home of one of those detained, materials linking the suspects to ADF had been recovered, police said.

“Exhibits, including materials used in making improvised explosive devices were recovered, as well as Al-Qaeda training manuals on how to make and detonate bombs,” Lokech said.

ADF has been accused of killing thousands of people since 2014, most in massacres in villages in eastern Congo carried out with machetes, hatchets and firearms.