Image: Uganda riots
Ugandan military police arrest a man during riots in Kampala on Friday.
updated 9/11/2009 9:08:36 AM ET 2009-09-11T13:08:36

Three people including a child were shot dead Friday in rioting in Uganda's capital, a witness and a policeman said, bringing the overall death toll over two days of unrest to at least 10.

AP photographer Marc Hofer saw a 13-year-old boy shot in the head and another man shot in the back Friday morning as stone-throwing protesters fought running battles in the streets with police.

The boy's mother, who did not give her name, said a soldier in an armored personnel carrier shot her son as he stood outside a store.

Police officer Henry Mulwanyi, involved in the anti-riot operation, confirmed a man and a woman had been killed near the city center. It was unclear if the man was the same one seen by Hofer.

"Both the dead had bullet wounds," he said. "I cannot establish who killed them."

Shops were closed and cars stayed off many roads in the capital on Friday. On the outskirts of town, protesters had set up burning roadblocks and set a bus alight. Police patrolled in armed vehicles.

Restriction on ruler sparks unrest
The unrest began Thursday after the government prevented a representative of the traditional ruler of the Buganda kingdom from traveling to a region northeast of the capital for a political rally. Members of the kingdom make up Uganda's largest ethnic group but there is friction between the Buganda and members of the smaller Banyara tribe, who claim the Buganda refuse to recognize them.

Buganda King Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II was to go to the Kayunga district, home to both ethnic groups, on Saturday. Residents say the unrest will continue unless police unblock the roads and allow him to travel. But Uganda's inspector general of police, Kale Kaihura, said during a news conference that the visit would not go ahead. He blamed "marauding thugs" for the violence.

"Some people died, property was looted and damaged including police posts, shops, vehicles and a paint factory," he said. "Buses were stopped at illegal roadblocks and passengers robbed. Women were attacked and humiliated. Accordingly, the king of Buganda's visit to Kayunga ... shall not be allowed to proceed as scheduled."

Radio stations suspended
Minister of Information Kabakumba Matsiko also said five radio stations were suspended for inciting violence.

An Associated Press photographer saw seven people killed Thursday during the clashes, and Mulwanyi confirmed at least four had been shot.

The traditional kingdoms were banned in 1966 but reinstated by the current president in 1993. But President Yoweri Museveni has restricted their leaders to a largely ceremonial role to avoid potential political rivals. Members of the Buganda Kingdom have clashed with the government before, particularly over the issue of land rights.

More on: Uganda

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