130 phones stolen, 148 arrested during Martyrs Day celebrations

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At least 130 mobile phones were stolen from pilgrims at the Catholic and Anglican martyrs’ shrines in Namugongo, according to a joint security forces’ report released on Monday in Kampala.

Security forces say that the phones were snatched by thugs who disguised as pilgrims to steal from people who queued up to join the Martyr’s Day celebrations at the two venues.

Police Spokesperson Fred Enanga said a total of 199 cases were recorded during the festivities, and of these 130 were of stolen mobile phones while 62 were of general theft. Enanga, however, added that the joint security teams were also able to arrest 148 suspects during the 7-day policing of the Martyr’s Day celebrations which started with deployments on May 28. The arrested persons included eight male juveniles and three female adults.

Kampala Metropolitan Traffic Police Commander Rogers Nsereko Kauma said the crashes recorded in the Martyrs’ Week claimed the lives of seven people and left nearly 30 others nursing injuries. The seven were lost in crashes in Migeera and Nsangi.

Organizers and security agencies estimate that over three million pilgrims attended this year’s Martyrs’ Day celebrations. By yesterday evening, only 22 pilgrims were still stranded at the Catholic martyrs’ shrines.

“We had 45 children who had been disunited from their relatives but we want to confirm that all the children have since been reunited with their parents and relatives,” Enanga said.

Although security agencies had 20 cases of missing children reported by parents, it has since been established that through announcements on the public speaker’s system, the children were able to reunite with parents and relatives. However, the parents did not notify the police after reuniting with their children.

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