Photos of Ugandan police conducting body searches on fans entering a soccer stadium in the capital city of Kampala have gone viral on social media.
The images purportedly show police groping women’s br_easts and private parts as they searched for weapons and explosives ahead of Tuesday’s game at the Nelson Mandela National Stadium on Namboole Hill.
As the increasing threat of terrorism looms, Ugandan police are apparently not leaving anything to chance, but some may be taking advantage of the situation. Some of the women being searched couldn’t help but laugh, while onlookers appeared disturbed.
Oh dear! Good I sat out on this game! So Uganda police was busy publicly fondling women at Namboole,” one woman wrote on Twitter Tuesday, after seeing the photos.
There were no reported incidents during Uganda’s soccer match against Burkina Faso Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Kenya’s game against Guinea in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi was halted for 30 minutes as police tried to stop unruly fans from throwing water bottles and other objects onto the field. An article published on Nairobi News suggested Kenyan police “borrow a leaf from their Ugandan counterparts.”
Sporting events and large gatherings of fans in Uganda have fallen victim to terrorist attacks in the past. In July 2010, several bombs exploded on World Cup fans watching the televised final match between Spain and the Netherlands on outdoor TV screens in Uganda’s relatively safe capital.
The synchronized attacks struck a popular Ethiopian garden restaurant and a large rugby field in Kampala, where hundreds of people had gathered to watch the soccer game. More than 70 people were killed, including some foreigners and at least one American, according to the New York Times.
Somalia-based terrorist group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the deadly bombings, the Times reported.
Both Uganda and Kenya have been targets of the Islamic militant group because the countries have contributed troops to the African Union’s effort to stabilize Somalia and defeat al-Shabab. The Ugandan contingent in Amisom, the regional bloc’s mission in Somalia, remains the largest with 6,223 troops.