40 People Were Killed in Uganda School Attack By the Islamic State Group
At a school in western Uganda, rebels affiliated with the Islamic State organization have killed about 40 people, the majority of whom were students.
Following the attack on the Lhubiriha secondary school in Mpondwe, an additional eight people are still in critical condition.
Among those killed were boys who were residing in the school’s dormitories.The attack on Friday has been attributed to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a Ugandan organization based in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
According to Fred Enanga, a spokesman for the national police, many of the bodies were taken to Bwera Hospital.
The assault occurred on Friday at the school in the Kasese district of western Uganda at about 23:30 local time (20:30 GMT). The majority of the over 60 students who attend the school reside there.
According to Mr. Enanga, during the incident, ADF rebels looted a food store and set a dormitory on fire.
According to Ugandan army Major General Dick Olum, some of the boys were burned to death or hacked to death. He added that the group has also kidnapped other students at the school, mostly girls.
DNA tests will be required to identify some of the bodies because they were allegedly severely burned.
The attackers are alleged to have set the students’ mattresses on fire and are suspected of having planted bombs nearby.
There may be people from the larger community among the dead. Several students are still missing.
The precise number of fatalities is still unknown.
Soldiers are pursuing ADF insurgents towards the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which is home to rare species like mountain gorillas and is Africa’s oldest and largest national park.
The vast area, which borders Uganda and Rwanda, is used as a hideout by militias like the ADF.
To free the kidnapped people and destroy this group, our forces are pursuing the enemy, according to defense spokesperson Felix Kulayigye on Twitter.
The Ugandan army has also sent out aircraft to assist in locating the rebel group.
To stop ADF attacks, Uganda and the DRC have conducted joint military operations in eastern Congo.
Before the attack on Friday night, security forces had intelligence that rebels had been present in the border region on the DRC side for at least two days, according to Major General Olum.
The violent incident comes after last week’s suspected ADF fighter attack in a village in the DRC close to the Ugandan border. More than 100 villagers left for Uganda but later came back.
This attack on the school, which is less than two kilometers (1.25 miles) from the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, marks the first one on a Ugandan school in twenty-five years.
In a June 1998 ADF attack on Kichwamba Technical Institute near the border with the DRC, 80 students were killed by fire in their dormitories. Over 100 students were kidnapped.
The ADF, which claims that the government is persecuting Muslims, was founded in eastern Uganda in the 1990s and has since fought against longtime President Yoweri Museveni.
After being routed by the Ugandan army in 2001, it moved to the DRC’s North Kivu province.
Jamil Makulu, the principal founder of the group, was detained in a Ugandan prison after being taken into custody in Tanzania in 2015.
For the past 20 years, ADF rebels have operated out of the DRC.
Musa Seka Baluku, Makulu’s successor, is said to have first sworn allegiance to the Islamic State organization in 2016, but it wasn’t until April 2019 that IS first acknowledged its presence in the region.