India para shuttlers in Uganda witness twin blasts near team hotel

Indian para shuttlers competing at the Uganda Para Badminton International suffered a jolt when there were multiple explosions near the team hotel at the capital city of Kampala on Tuesday.

The two bomb blasts led to the death of at least three civilians and caused chaos in Kampala as terrified residents fled the city’s centre.

Chief coach of Indian para badminton team Gaurav Khanna said the blasts happened around 100 metres away from the hotel but everyone is safe and there is nothing to worry.

“Few players were leaving for the badminton hall when there was this blast. It led to a lot of chaos on the street. We also immediately went back but now things are fine. We have spoken to the embassy and there is nothing to worry,” Khanna told PTI.

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“It won’t have any effect on our schedule and the tournament also goes on. We have a big contingent, including 54 players who are competing in the tournament.” According to local police, it was a coordinated attack by extremists and three suicide bombers died in the blasts.

Tokyo Paralympic gold medallist Pramod Bhagat, who is part of the Indian contingent, participating in tournament also said they are safe and there was nothing to worry.

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“We are safe. There was a blast. Nothing to worry. It has not affected our schedule. We didn’t feel it much. There was little chaos but everyone is safe and the tournament will go on as per the schedule,” Bhagat, who will open his campaign on Wednesday, told PTI.

“We are 15 Indians players in our hotel, there are 15-20 players in another hotel too but all are safe.” The Para Badminton India took to social media to inform about the players’ safety. “Indian Team is Safe!There is multiple Bomb Blast 100 mtr away from official Hotel in which @parabadmintonIN team staying… (sic),” it tweeted.

The event will end on November 21.

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