KIKUBAJINJA, Uganda (Reuters) – Uganda’s army said on Thursday it discovered bomb-making equipment at a training center of a rebel group allied with Islamic State about 60 kilometers west of the capital Kampala, and that three people had been arrested.

Authorities have blamed the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a militia based in the dense forests of neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, for a series of bombings in Kampala and elsewhere late last year that left at least nine dead.

In one of the worst attacks, a suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance to a police station in central Kampala. Three minutes later, two more suicide bombers exploded along a road leading to parliament.

The training center was found at the home of a local man, army spokesman Felix Kulayigye said during a media tour of Kikubajinja village in Luwero district.

A tunnel used for training had been dug in one of the halls, he said.

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Security personnel had grown suspicious after reports emerged from neighbors that “no one was allowed in, no one would be seen leaving”, Kulayigye said.

Authorities recovered bomb-making materials, including metal, nails and wire, as well as bullets and a pistol fitted with a silencer, he said.

In November, the Ugandan army launched a joint operation with the Congolese army to eradicate the ADF, which started as an uprising in Uganda but has been based in Congo since the late 1990s and has pledged allegiance to the state. Islamic in mid-2019.

Kulayigye said the three suspects had already purchased a car which they planned to use in an attack.

“They were assembling a bomb that would be taken by this car to explode in a public place,” he said.

(Reporting by Nairobi Newsroom; Writing by Elias Biryabarema; Editing by Hereward Holland and Alex Richardson)

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