At least 41 eliminated in rebel attack on Ugandan school near Congo border

At least 41 killed in rebel attack on Ugandan school near Congo border

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A Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) armored workers provider is seen outside the properties of an attack in Mpondwe, Uganda, on June 17, 2023 at the Mpondwe Lhubiriha SecondarySchool The death toll from an attack on a school in western Uganda by militants connected to the Islamic State group has actually increased to 37, the nation’s army spokesperson statedSaturday (Photo by AFP) (Photo by -/ AFP by means of Getty Images)

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Ugandan authorities recuperated the bodies of 41 individuals, consisting of 38 trainees, who were burned, shot or hacked to death after suspected rebels assaulted a secondary school near the border with Congo, the regional mayor stated Saturday.

At least 6 individuals were abducted by the rebels, who got away throughout the permeable border into Congo after the raid on Friday night, according to the Ugandan military.

Authorities blamed the massacre at Lhubiriha Secondary School in the border town of Mpondwe on the Allied Democratic Forces, a shadowy extremist group with ties to the Islamic State, which has actually been introducing attacks for several years from bases in unstable eastern Congo.

The victims consisted of the trainees, one guard and 2 members of the regional neighborhood who were eliminated outside the school, Mpondwe-Lhubiriha Mayor Selevest Mapoze informed The Associated Press.

Mapoze stated that a few of the trainees suffered deadly burns when the rebels set fire to a dorm room and others were shot or hacked with machetes.

The raid, which occurred around 11: 30 p.m., included about 5 assailants, the Ugandan armed force stated. Soldiers from a close-by brigade who reacted to the attack discovered the school on fire, “with dead bodies of students lying in the compound,” military spokespersonBrig Felix Kulayigye stated in a declaration.

That declaration mentioned 47 bodies, with 8 other individuals injured and being dealt with at a regional health center. Ugandan soldiers are “pursuing the perpetrators to rescue the abducted students” who were required to bring looted food towards Congo’s Virunga National Park, it stated.

The school, co-ed and independently owned, lies in the Ugandan district of Kasese, about 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) from the Congo border.

Joe Walusimbi, a main representing Uganda’s president in Kasese, informed the AP over the phone that a few of the victims “were burnt beyond recognition.”

Winnie Kiiza, a prominent politician and a previous legislator from the area, condemned the “cowardly attack” onTwitter She stated “attacks on schools are unacceptable and are a grave violation of children’s rights,” including that schools need to constantly be “a safe place for every student.”

The ADF has actually been implicated of introducing lots of attacks recently targeting civilians in remote parts of easternCongo It seldom declares obligation for attacks.

The ADF has actually long opposed the guideline of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, a U.S. security ally who has actually held power in this East African nation given that 1986.

The group was developed in the early 1990 s by some Ugandan Muslims, who stated they had actually been sidelined by Museveni’s policies. At the time, the rebels staged lethal attacks in Ugandan towns in addition to in the capital, consisting of a 1998 attack in which 80 trainees were massacred in a town not from the scene of the most recent attack.

A Ugandan military attack later on required the ADF into eastern Congo, where lots of rebel groups have the ability to run due to the fact that the main federal government has actually restricted control there.

The group has actually given that developed ties with the Islamic State group.

In March, a minimum of 19 individuals were eliminated in Congo by presumed ADF extremists.

Ugandan authorities for several years have actually promised to find ADF militants even outside Ugandan area. In 2021, Uganda released joint air and weapons strikes in Congo versus the group.