Ugandan police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to break up a crowd of opposition supporters and briefly arrested a leading opposition candidate on Monday, raising tensions ahead of elections widely seen as close. Ambulances carried the injured after the police used force to break up supporters of presidential candidate Kizza Besigye near Uganda’s Makerere University in the capital. Mr Besigye defied orders to follow a less crowded route to the university, where he had planned to hold a rally so police fired tear gas and shotguns to quell a crowd of his supporters, said Fred Enanga, police spokesman.
“He is defiant. We are not going to arrest him. We are not going to detain him. We know this is what he wants. We will just tow his vehicle and drive him home,” he added.
Recent opinion polls show President Yoweri Museveni in a tight race with Mr Besigye, who is promising to run a more efficient government.
Mr Besigye himself was arrested briefly Monday afternoon in Kampala, where he is holding his last rallies ahead of elections on Thursday.