Somalia militants claim responsibility for Ugandan bombing that killed 64; Japan sees another government toppling, PM vulnerable; Russia warns Iran is going nuclear; violence returns to Darfur; and more

Top of the Agenda: Deadly Blasts Hit Uganda's Capital

At least sixty-four people died and seventy others were injured in two explosions in Uganda's capital (BBC), Kampala, targeting crowds gathered to watch the final World Cup soccer match. The bombs hit a soccer club and an Ethiopian restaurant. Police blamed Somalia's al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab militants, who have threatened to hit Kampala in the past. Many of the killed and injured were foreigners living in the capital. This would be the first time al-Shabaab has struck outside Somalia, though Somali militants have been involved in terror attacks across East Africa in the past.

Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack. A senior member of the Somali group said the blasts aimed to punish Uganda (WSJ) for sending peacekeepers to Somalia to support the country's weak government. He blamed Ugandan peacekeeping forces for "killing Somali civilians.” Al-Shabaab threatened attacks on Burundi and Uganda, which both have peacekeepers in Somalia to stabilize the government. The recent influx of foreign fighters to al-Shabaab has alarmed the United States and other Somali allies that fear the country is becoming a new sanctuary for international terrorists.

Analysis:

Al-Shabaab has banned playing soccer in many areas it controls. The group prohibited broadcasts of the World Cup, describing the sport as "a satanic act" that corrupts Muslims (WashPost).

Background:

This Backgrounder examines Somalia as a terrorist haven.

 

PACIFIC RIM: N. Korea, UN to Discuss S. Korean Warship Sinking

Military officials from North Korea and the UN meet Tuesday to discuss the sinking of a South Korean warship (WashPost) that has heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Japan: The Democratic Party of Japan suffered a resounding defeat in parliamentary elections (LAT), wining fewer that the fifty seats needed to keep its coalition majority and threatening newly minted Prime Minister Naoto Kan's hold on power.

 

ELSEWHERE:

- Russia Warns on Iran's Nuclear Capability
- Tensions Rise in Afghanistan's North
- Darfur Violence Kills 221 in June

 

This is an excerpt of the CFR.org Daily News Brief. The full version is available on CFR.org

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