US warns of attacks on Sudan-Uganda flights

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

The United States has said that "regional extremists" may be targeting Air Uganda airplane flights between Southern Sudan and Uganda.

A warning posted yesterday on the Web site of the US Embassy in Khartoum says there is a "potential threat" on the flights between Juba, Sudan and Kampala, Uganda. Juba is the capital of semi-autonomous Southern Sudan.

The embassy did not name the potential attackers but said the threat is of "sufficient seriousness," and that air travelers should "maintain vigilance at all times."

"[We have] received information indicating a desire by regional extremists to conduct a deadly attack on board Air Uganda aircraft," the embassy said in a statement. "[The] capacity of these extremists to carry out such an attack is unknown [...] [but] of sufficient seriousness that all American air travellers should be made aware."

The Sudanese Foreign Ministry, however, commented that the threat wasn't "serious". Foreign Ministry spokesman Moawiya Osman Khalid commented that "they did not inform us of this security threat, we learnt about it from the embassy's website," as quoted by Agence France-Presse. "They did not ask for our cooperation, which they should have done before notifying the media."

The US has increased its airport security following the failed attempted December 25 bombing of a Delta flight by a Nigerian man with explosives in his underpants. Sudan is one of fourteen countries where passengers headed for the US will undergo additional searches at airport security.