Uganda bombings update

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The Somali Islamist group, Al-Shabab, has claimed responsibility for Sunday's night's double bombings that killed more than 70 people in the capital Kampala. Today, Ugandan authorities say they've made some arrests in the case. Anchor Marco Werman gets the latest on the story from the BBC's Will Ross in Kampala.

MARCO WERMAN: I'm Marco Werman. Ahead, drug enforcement authorities face a challenge. Narco-traffickers are packing more drugs into better submarines.

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WERMAN: I'm Marco Werman and this is The World, a co-production of the BBC World Service, PRI, and WGBH Boston. The investigation into Sunday's two bomb attacks in Uganda is yielding results. First, security forces in the East African nation discovered an unexploded suicide vest packed with explosives, a detonator, and ball bearings. Then today, authorities announced a number of arrests. The attacks killed more than 70 people in Uganda's capital, Kampala, as they were watching the World Cup soccer final. A Somali Islamist group, Al-Shabab, says it was behind the explosions. The BBC's Will Ross is in Kampala. Will, you attended a police press conference this morning. What did they reveal?

WILL ROSS: Well, they produced a collection of items that they say were basically what was being used by a potential suicide bomber. There were explosives, there were tightly packed ball bearings, there were fuse wires, there were detonators, or [SOUNDS LIKE] one fuse and one detonator. And the Ugandan police were handed this bundle which was found in a black laptop bag with a vest, the kind of vest worn by a suicide bomber. They were handed these items and they say that this could have been a third attempted attack which would have taken place following those two deadly blasts on Sunday which we now know killed 76 people.

WERMAN: The police also had some fresh and interesting information about who was behind Sunday's attacks.

ROSS: Yes, I mean, it's interesting. Straight after the attacks the police pointed the finger at Al-Shabab, the Somali Islamist militia trying to wrestle control of the whole of Somalia and impose strict Islamic law there. Then several hours later a spokesman for Al-Shabab said yes we did it and then during this press conference, Kale Kayihura, the Inspector General of Police, he mentioned that okay, Al-Shabab were involved but they were working with the Allied Democratic Forces. Now that's a rebel group that used to operate in the west of Uganda back in the late 1990s and at that time carried out some small but deadly blasts, usually with grenades. And they were used by the Sudanese government in retaliation for Uganda's support for the SPLA. And Uganda always maintained that that group had connections with al-Qaeda, so the Ugandan police are really saying that, okay Al-Shabab may have been involved and we're told that Al-Shabab also is linked to al-Qaeda, but the Ugandan police think that the people who got involved at the Ugandan end were this ADF, this Ugandan rebel group.

WERMAN: Is it clear that whether it's Al-Shabab and/or the ADF, is it clear that they were targeting essentially the presence of African Union troops in Somalia?

ROSS: Well, that's certainly the message that the Al-Shabab group have put out is that the reason we carried out these attacks and we will carry out more is because you have Ugandan troops in Somalia. But there are people who are skeptical about this whole issue and are not certain that this is Al-Shabab at all.

WERMAN: So what is your sense, Will, of people in Kampala and their feelings about the continuing presence of Ugandan troops in Somalia? Is there now a sudden call for the removal of Ugandan troops with the African Union? Get them out of Somalia now?

ROSS: Not a sudden call for that, no. There are some Ugandan's, I've been speaking to many people on the streets of Kampala today and they, some of them were saying look the troops should come home. They should come and protect us here in Uganda. They shouldn't be there in Somalia. But many we spoke to said they supported the continued presence of troops in Somalia and they're repeating the line that the government puts out really, which is that if Somalia becomes a state with a hard-line Islamist militia in control, it could spread to produce other problems in the region.

WERMAN: Still, one of the consequences of these bombings has to be that Ugandan's in Kampala especially must be very concerned about more attacks.

ROSS: Indeed and the frightening thing, never knowing where those attacks may take place. Ugandan's are fun loving people, they love going out and partying out and socializing and there are many, many nightspots in Kampala that may suffer if people feel that it's too dangerous to be gathering in places that could be targets if similar attacks are to be repeated.

WERMAN: The BBC's Will Ross in Kampala, Uganda. Thank you for your time, Will.

ROSS: Pleasure.