Scenes broadcast on local news channels showed bloodied office workers fleeing from the sites of the explosions, which took place just after 10 a.m. Tuesday. Hours later, downtown Kampala’s streets were nearly emptied.
The apparent attacks were the latest in a string of bombings in Uganda attributed to regional terrorist groups. On Oct. 23, an explosion at a restaurant in a Kampala suburb killed one person and injured seven. Two days later, a suicide bomber detonated his explosives on a bus, killing only himself.
The Allied Democratic Forces, or ADF, an Islamist group that originated in Uganda but now mostly operates in remote areas of the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, claimed the restaurant attack. A concerted crackdown by Ugandan forces had suppressed ADF activity in the country in recent years.
The U.S. State Department considers the ADF to be a wing of the Islamic State, but details on coordination between the two groups remain murky.
The worst attack in recent memory in Uganda was a 2010 bombing of multiple bars by the Somali Islamist group al-Shabab. Revelers were watching the World Cup in the bars, and 74 people were killed. Uganda is a major supplier of troops to the African Union-sponsored military deployment in Somalia, which seeks to degrade al-Shabab.
This story has been updated.