Former Ugandan army chief hospitalized after gun attack

AP International

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — A former army chief in Uganda has been wounded and his daughter killed after gunmen shot at the car in which they were being driven early Tuesday.

Gen. Katumba Wamala, who serves as the works and transport minister in Uganda’s government, was wounded in the arm in the attack near his home in a suburb of Kampala, the Ugandan capital, according to military spokeswoman Brig. Flavia Byekwaso.

She said Wamala’s driver and his daughter have been confirmed dead.

Ugandan police didn’t immediately comment on the attack.

The unknown assailants are believed to have been riding motorcycles that approached the minister’s car in a busy street. They shot at it at least seven times, according to local broadcaster NBS. Footage from the scene showed the minister in his bloodied clothes asking to be taken to the hospital.

Ugandans reacted with shock to the apparent assassination attempt that will raise fears of insecurity in this East African country that has seen similar attacks in recent years.

A spokesman for Ugandan police was shot dead by gunmen outside his home in 2017. A parliamentarian was killed in a similar attack in 2018. Other victims include a prominent public prosecutor and Muslim sheikhs.

Wamala, a member of Uganda’s ruling party who also served for years as national police chief, is a beloved figure among many Ugandans who cite his down-to-earth demeanor in a country where military officers are often feared. He is frequently seen with just one bodyguard.

Speaking from his hospital bed, Wamala said he was out of danger.

“The bad guys have done it, but God has given me a second chance,” he said, speaking of his dead daughter. “I will pull through.”

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