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

Kampala – After suspected rebels attacked a secondary school near the Congo border, Ugandan authorities recovered the bodies of 41 people, including 38 students, who were burned, shot or hacked to death, the local mayor said on Saturday. bottom.

At least six people were kidnapped by rebels and fled across the porous border to Congo after Friday night’s raid, according to the Ugandan military.

The victims included a student, a security guard and two locals who were killed outside the school, Mpondowe Rubiriha Mayor Selevest Maposeh told The Associated Press.

Mapose said some students were fatally burned and others were shot or mutilated when the rebels set the dormitory on fire.

The Ugandan military said the attack occurred around 11:30 pm and involved about five attackers. Army spokesman Brigadier General Felix Craigge said in a statement that soldiers from a nearby brigade responding to the attack found the school on fire and “dead bodies of students lying on the grounds.”

The statement said 47 bodies had been reported and eight others were injured and were being treated at local hospitals. The Ugandan military said it was “tracking the perpetrators to rescue the kidnapped students” who were forced to transport looted food to Congo’s Virunga National Park.

Ugandan authorities said the militant Coalition Democratic Forces, which has long launched attacks from its stronghold in volatile eastern Congo, had attacked the Lubiriha secondary school in the border town of Mpondwe. The school is co-educational and private and is located in Kasese, Uganda, about 2 km (1.2 miles) from the Congo border.

Kasese’s Ugandan presidential deputy, Joe Walsinbi, told the Associated Press by phone that some of the victims had “burns beyond recognition.”

The region’s influential political leader and former lawmaker, Winnie Keyza, took to Twitter to condemn the “cowardly attack.” “Attacks on schools are unacceptable and a grave violation of children’s rights,” she said, adding that schools should always be “a safe place for all students.”

The ADF has been accused of carrying out a number of attacks in recent years targeting civilians in remote areas of eastern Congo. Shadow groups rarely claim responsibility for attacks.

The ADF has long opposed the rule of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, a US security ally who has been in power in the East African country since 1986.

The group was founded in the early 1990s by some Ugandan Muslims who claim to have been alienated from President Museveni’s policies. At the time, rebels carried out deadly attacks not only in the capital but also in Ugandan villages, including a 1998 attack in which 80 students were massacred in a town that was not the site of the attack. rice field.

A subsequent Ugandan raid pushed the ADF into eastern Congo, where the limited control of the central government allows many rebels to operate.

The group has since established ties with Islamic State.

March at least 19 dead in Congo by suspected ADF militants.

Ugandan authorities have long vowed to hunt ADF militants even outside Ugandan territory. In 2021, Uganda launches joint air and artillery strikes Play against a group in Congo.

Copyright 2023 Associated Press. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

https://www.local10.com/news/2023/06/17/at-least-41-killed-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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