25 students killed in militant attack on school in western Uganda

Uganda and DR Congo launched a joint offensive in 2021 to drive the ADF out of their Congolese strongholds (Sébastien KITSA MUSAYI)

Militants linked to the Islamic State group have killed 25 college students in western Uganda within the nation’s worst such assault in years, police and native officers stated Saturday.

The military stated it was pursuing militants from the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) after the cross-border raid late Friday on a secondary faculty in Kasese district close to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Nationwide police spokesman Fred Enanga stated “a dormitory was burnt and meals retailer looted” within the assault on Lhubiriha Secondary College in Mpondwe by the ADF, which relies in DR Congo’s strife-torn east.

“Thus far 25 our bodies have been recovered from the varsity and transferred to Bwera Hospital”, he stated, referring to a close-by city.

“Additionally recovered are eight victims, who stay in essential situation at Bwera hospital.”

The Resident Commissioner for Kasese, Joe Walusimbi, advised AFP that quite a few college students have been nonetheless lacking and the deceased thus far have been all pupils.

“The entire lifeless thus far are confirmed to be college students on the faculty,” he stated.

Police didn’t develop on the character of the assault or how the victims died.

The college is lower than two kilometres (1.2 miles) from the border of DR Congo, the place ADF is primarily lively and has been accused of killing 1000’s of civilians for the reason that Nineties.

Enanga stated the military and police models have been in “scorching pursuit” of the attackers who fled within the route of Virunga Nationwide Park over the border in DR Congo.

Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces spokesman Felix Kulayigye stated the ADF might have additionally kidnapped some folks.

“Our forces are pursuing the enemy to rescue these kidnapped and destroy this group,” he stated in an announcement.

– Lethal militia –

An enormous expanse on the border with Uganda and Rwanda, Virunga is the oldest nature reserve in Africa and is famend worldwide as a sanctuary for uncommon species, together with mountain gorillas.

However militias — of which dozens are lively within the mineral-rich jap DR Congo — additionally the use the park as a hideout.

Initially made up of primarily Muslim Ugandan rebels, ADF gained a foothold in jap DR Congo within the Nineties.

Since 2019, some ADF assaults in jap DR Congo have been claimed by the Islamic State group, which describes the fighters as an area offshoot, the Islamic State Central Africa Province.

ADF assaults in Uganda are much less widespread and the toll from Friday’s assault is the worst in a few years by any group.

In 2010, twin bombings in Kampala concentrating on followers watching the World Cup remaining left 76 folks lifeless, with the Somalia-based Al-Shabaab group claiming duty.

It isn’t ADF’s first assault on a faculty in Uganda.

In June 1998, 80 college students have been burnt to dying of their dormitories in an ADF assault on Kichwamba Technical Institute close to the border of DR Congo. Greater than 100 college students have been kidnapped.

Uganda and DR Congo launched a joint offensive in 2021 to drive the ADF out of their Congolese strongholds, however the measures have thus far failed to finish the group’s assaults.

In March this 12 months, the US introduced a reward of as much as $5 million for info resulting in the seize of the ADF’s chief.

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