Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | At least 17 suspects reportedly exploited yesterday’s chaos during the bomb explosion at Kampala Central Police Station (CPS) to escape from custody.
Two police sources told Uganda Radio Network that nine of the suspects had been brought in the previous night and their details were being entered when the explosion went off.
“These suspects had been arrested the previous day and their statements were being recorded. But when the bomb went off, some of them mysteriously escaped because there was a lot of confusion,” a police source said.
The bomb blast that was detonated by Mansoor Uthman as identified by security agencies left 23 police officers injured. Most of the injured police officers were at the quarter guard, others were in the CPS compound whiles others were at the reception.
It is reported that other escapees had been removed from cells being prepared to appear in court, but when the shrapnel of the blast sent everyone into shock, some of the suspects fled.
“We were all focused on saving our lives. There was an ongoing meeting with some commanders on the second floor. But when the bomb went off, everyone found his or her way of surviving. Even when the fragments had settled, we were focused on vacating the building. That is how some of these suspects escaped,” a police source explained.
However, Uganda Radio Network (URN) could not establish the names of the escapees since all policemen who were at the reception were among those injured and rushed to Mulago hospital. It is not clear whether the suspects escaped for purposes of leaving jail or fled for their lives after hearing the explosion.
Efforts to seek confirmation on suspects’ escape were futile as Deputy Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson, Luke Owoyesigyire said he did not have any idea about the alleged escape of suspects. Police sources said they were not sure whether the suspects escaped with injuries since the window glasses of the CPS main block were smashed by the shrapnel.
Meanwhile, Owoyesigyire says that all people seeking services at CPS should utilize police pots like Mini Price, Nakivubo, Kisekka and Kampala road for the meantime since the main station is still a scene of crime.
But it is not yet clear what relatives of suspects who remained in cells have to do to access them, since military and police officers are not allowing any civilians to walk past Mabirizi Complex, Hotel Triangle or Gender Ministry.