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NAIROBI (RNS/ENInews) A top church leader in Uganda, Anglican Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi, has appealed for calm after the “hideous crime” of a terrorist bombing at a World Cup watch party in Kampala that left more than 70 dead.
“I call upon each one of us to desist from anger and revenge. This will only perpetuate the pain we already feel,” Orombi said in a statement on Tuesday (July 13). “Let us instead now focus our energies on being part of the fight against terrorism in our country.”
The twin blasts at a rugby club and a restaurant on Sunday left more than 70 people dead, including one American aid worker. Several people on a missions trip from a Pennsylvania church suffered minor injuries.
The archbishop warned against unnecessary suspicion in a country where Christians (84 percent of the population) and Muslims (12 percent) have lived peacefully side by side.
“Instead, seek for the common goal of a peaceful and just society,” Orombi said. “Peaceful society is the right of every one regardless of their age, race, gender or religious inclination.”
Al-Shabab, a Somali Islamist organization that the U.S. lists as a “terrorist group,” is reported to have taken responsibility for the attack.
“Al-Shabab was behind the two bomb blasts in Uganda,” Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage, the group’s spokesperson, told Uganda’s Daily Monitor newspaper from Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital. “We thank the mujahedeen that carried out the attack,” he said.
The sheikh said the attacks were a response to Ugandan troops that are part of the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia, where Islamic militants are battling for control. Opposition leaders in Kampala have called for Ugandan troops to be pulled from the force.
— Fredrick Nzwili
Copyright 2010 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written permission.

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