On Thursday, the Ugandan military announced that it had uncovered bomb-making materials in a training site for an Islamic State-aligned rebel group located around 60 kilometres west of the capital Kampala, and that three persons had been captured.
Authorities blamed the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a group based in the vast forests of the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, for a series of bombs in Kampala and elsewhere late last year that killed at least nine people.
In one of the bloodiest incidents, a suicide bomber blew himself up at the door of a police station in central Kampala. Three minutes later, two more suicide bombers detonated themselves along a route leading to the parliament.
During a media tour to the village of Kikubajinja in the district of Luwero, army spokesman Felix Kulayigye said that the training facility was uncovered in the home of a local resident.
In one of the chambers, he continued, a tunnel was built for training purposes.
Kulaygye explained that security staff had gotten suspicious after hearing from nearby residents that “no one was permitted to enter, and no one was seen leaving.”
He stated that authorities had seized ammunition and a handgun with a silencer in addition to bomb-making supplies such as metal, nails, and wires.
In November, the Ugandan and Congolese armies commenced a coordinated campaign to eradicate the ADF, which originated as an insurgency in Uganda but has been based in Congo since the late 1990s and has professed allegiance to the Islamic State as of mid-2019.
According to Kulayigye, the three suspects had already purchased the vehicle they intended to use in an assault.
“They were in the midst of building a device to be transported by that vehicle and detonated in a public location,” he stated.