Uganda: Details Emerge On 700 Ugandan Guards in Iraq

Government yesterday put the number of Ugandans guarding the American embassy and other installations in Iraq at 700.

The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, which supervises external labour recruitment agencies, said in a statement that no Ugandan had been injured during last week's attack on the embassy.

The statement added that government was in touch with SOC-USA, the company that employs the guards.

"There are about 700 Ugandans in Iraq as security guards. The entire contingent is not involved in any combat operations and as such, no injuries or fatalities have been registered arising out of the protests as the US Embassy in Baghdad," a statement signed by Mr Frank Mugabi, the spokesperson of the ministry, read in part.

There were reports last week that some guards had been injured.

This was after a video posted on tweeter showed heavily armed Ugandan guards took positions at the gate of the US embassy as demonstrators smashed the outer wall.

The attack on the embassy came after the US airstrikes killed 25 fighters under the Iranian-backed force, the Kataib Hezbollah militia in western Iraq and eastern Syria.

After the attack, the US killed an Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the Iranian Qud force, a division responsible for external and clandestine military operations.

The killing has escalated tensions between the US and Iran, and there are fears that Iran might retaliate and attack US interests in the region, including the US embassy guarded by the Ugandans.

In 2010, two Ugandan guards were killed in a rocket attack on their base in Iraq. The Ugandans guarding the embassy are recruited by Saracen Uganda Limited and handed over to SOC-USA, an American company contracted by the US State Department, to provide security services to US embassies in different countries.

Iran has threatened to retaliate to the killing of their army general and senior Iran military officers, and said the US bases are in reach of their missiles.

In a tweet, US President Donald Trump, also promised to hit back.

"The United States just spent two Trillion Dollars on military equipment. We are the biggest and by far the best in the world! If Iran attacks an American base, or any American, we will be sending some of that brand new beautiful equipment their way... and without hesitation!" President Trump said.

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