Sunday August 29, 2021
By Benson Tumusiime
UPDF spokesperson, Brig Gen Flavia Byekwaso, said the suspects wanted to attack mourners in retaliation for Gen Lokech’s suppression and defeat of the al-Shabaab extremists and their associates in Somalia.
The second suspect in the company of an alleged suicide bomber that targeted mourners at the burial of late deputy Inspector General of Police, Gen Paul Lokech, at his home in Pader District, is still missing.
A source close to the operation that seized components for an improvised explosive device, told this publication that one of the suicide bombers escaped from the scene on Friday night and security personnel were on his trail.
The source said the two suspects had a mission to attack mourners at Gen Lokech’s burial yesterday at Baibir Village in Pader District in northern Uganda.
“We have learnt that [Abdul] Katumba was with another person in the mission, but he managed to sneak away and we are hunting him,” he said.
On Thursday afternoon, joint intelligence security forces arrested Katumba, who was allegedly planning to blow up mourners at the funeral of Lt Gen Lokech.
Security sources say Katumba, alias Ben, is linked to the Allied Democratic Force (ADF) rebels and the al-Shabaab Islamic militant terror group in Somalia.
It is reported that the two first planned to attack mourners at Gen Lokech’s home in Kitikifumba Kira, on the outskirts of Kampala, during the funeral service early in the week.
Brig Flavia Byekwaso, the UPDF spokesperson, confirmed the arrest of Katumba in a press statement she issued on Friday.
“When our joint intelligence team became suspicious of them, they started trailing them until they netted them from Mikicha Guest House in Pader Town Council on Thursday morning,” she said.
The UPDF spokesperson said the suspects wanted to attack mourners in retaliation for Gen Lokech’s suppression and defeat of the al-Shabaab extremists and their associates in Somalia.
Gen Lokech first took command of the African Union peacekeeping soldiers under African Union Mission to Somalia (Amisom) in 2011, and left in 2012. He again bounced back in 2017 and left in 2018 after flashing the terrorists out of Somalia capital Mogadishu.
When security personnel searched Katumba’s room at Mikicha Guest House, they reportedly recovered homemade bombs, bomb carrier bags, ball bearings, suicide vets, detonators, mobile phones used to detonate bombs, ammonium sulphate, switches and wires which were to be used in their deadly mission.