DESPITE rumours of terror threat issued by the Embassy of the United States on Wednesday evening, Tanzania remains safe as security organs continue to investigate the claims, Home Affairs Minister Kangi Lugola (pictured) stated yesterday.
"Such alerts are normal occurrences, the government of Tanzania through the police force has engaged their American counterparts to get more information," Mr Lugola told journalists on the sidelines of an event to mark the World Refugees Day.
The minister urged members of the public not to panic and instead continue with their daily activities as security organs investigate the terror threat. "Such alerts are normal, just like those on impending tsunami or heavy rains.
People should continue with their day to day activities, our country remains strong and responsible state organs are investigating the claims," said the minister.
On Wednesday evening, the US Embassy in Dar es Salaam issued the security alert, informing its citizens to take precautions over rumours of impending attacks in areas frequented by tourists and westerners.
"There are rumours of impending attacks in the Masaki area of Dar es Salaam, specifically at hotels and restaurants frequented by tourists and at Slipway Shopping Centre on the Msasani Peninsula," the embassy warned in the security advisory to its citizens. The embassy, however, stressed that it had no substantiating evidence of the threat or information on the timing of the attack.
The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Simon Sirro was quoted by the media explaining that the police force was aware of the rumours and was following them up.
"It is news like any other news, it might be true or false, but we don't ignore it. Intelligence service had the information since Tuesday," the IGP explained. The US Embassy in Kampala, Uganda, issued a similar alert yesterday afternoon warning its citizens on rumours of impending terror attacks in areas frequented by Americans. "There are rumours of impending attacks in areas frequented by expats within East Africa, including Uganda.
The Embassy has no substantiating evidence of the threat or information on the timing, but nonetheless warns citizens to take the precautions outlined below. "Actions to take: Be aware of your surroundings, avoid crowds, monitor media for updates and stay alert in locations frequented by tourists and westerners," it advised.
The US embassies in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi were in 1998 targeted by bombings, which were blamed on by Al- Qaeda terror group. Over 200 and 11 people were killed in Kenya and Tanzania, respectively.