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Last Updated: Friday, 13 April 2007, 10:02 GMT 11:02 UK
Eyewitness: Uganda attacks on Asians
Kampala resident Salim Matovu was at Thursday's protest against the allocation of a forest reserve to a sugar company, which turned violent leading to the death of at least three people.

The sugar company is owned by Ugandan Asians and some protesters started to attack members of the country's small but economically powerful Asian community.

Asian man being helped after attack
Asians have returned to Uganda, after being expelled by Idi Amin
At first it was very peaceful but when policemen denied the demonstrators access to Kampala Road, they turned rowdy.

Some started chanting songs against Indians asking them to return to their country.

The protest turned into a hunting session for Indian men and women all over the central business district.

The first victim was an Indian man who was innocently walking near the clock tower in Kampala. The irate mob pounced on him and stoned him to death.

When the crowds reached Entebbe Road, they attacked another Indian man riding home on his motor bike.

The man was suspected to be fleeing from the protesters. He was pulled off the motorbike, slapped and beaten severely but luckily policemen rescued him.

His motorbike was however burnt to ashes by the protestors.

Running battles

The crowd hurled insults at the police as they accused Indians of taking over retail businesses in the city and Uganda's economy.

Uganda police block road
The police blocked the protesters

As the protestors snaked through the streets, many Indian traders closed their shops and started leaving the town hurriedly.

Some shops were looted in the ensuing running battles.

Protestors also attacked and tried to enter a Hindu Temple at Nakasero, where some Indians had sought refuge but policemen arrived timely to protect them.

The Indians were later transferred on a bus to the central police station.

Trouble then spread out to Kampala suburbs where an Indian couple was attacked in Kansanga, as they tried to drive out of town.

Their car was smashed and they were beaten before policemen on patrol rescued them.

Others attacks on Indian motorists took place in Kibuye, Ndeeba and Natete.

A new truck that had Kenyan registration numbers was also burnt by the protestors who claimed that it was used to ferry sugar from Sugar Corporation of Uganda Limited [which wants to take over part of the Mabira forest reserve].

Kampala is now calm as the irate crowds have dispersed by the heavy rains and policemen.

Anger on the streets of Uganda's capital Kampala

Uganda MPs angry at forest plan
22 Mar 07 |  Africa
Uganda to sell off sugar works
11 Mar 02 |  Business
Do jobs count or the environment?
12 Apr 07 |  Have Your Say
Country profile: Uganda
19 Jan 07 |  Country profiles

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