Dozens killed, six abducted in attack on Uganda school

21:36, Sunday, 18 June, 2023
Dozens killed, six abducted in attack on Uganda school

The death toll from a terrorist attack on a secondary school in western Uganda on Friday night rose to 41 after more bodies of students were found, according to officials.

Selevest Mapoze, director of the Mpondwe-Lhubiriha border region, said that 41 bodies were removed from the school, 38 of which were students.

Earlier, army spokesman Brig. Gen. Felix Kulayigye told Anadolu the number of the dead students has risen to 37 after another 12 bodies were discovered, adding that 20 students were hacked to death while 17 were burnt in a dormitory.

He said some of the bodies were burnt beyond recognition and the authorities will use DNA tests to determine their identities.

The rebels also kidnapped six students, he added.

Earlier, in a statement, police spokesman Fred Enanga said that after killing the students in the Kasese district, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels looted the property before setting the schools’ dormitories on fire.

“Last night, the ADF rebels attacked the Lhubirira Secondary School in Mpondwe municipality, located about 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) from the DR Congo border. So far, 25 bodies have been recovered from the school and transferred to Bwera hospital,” said the spokesman, adding that eight injured students were also taken to the hospital.

The rebels fled towards Virunga National Game Park in DR Congo where the Ugandan army and police are pursuing them.

The ADF rebels originated from western Uganda in the late 1990s with the intention of overthrowing President Yoweri Museveni’s regime but were overpowered by the Ugandan army. They fled to the forests in eastern DR Congo, from where they often launch attacks on villages and kill innocent people.

Türkiye offers condolences

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of life of many students in the attack, and express our condolences to the families of those who lost their lives and wish a speedy recovery to the injured,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

"Türkiye, a country fighting resolutely against all forms and manifestations of terrorism, stands in solidarity with the government and the people of Uganda in this difficult day," it added.

Meanwhile, the Turkish Embassy in Uganda also condemned the terrorist attack targeting the school.

“Deeply saddened by the cowardly terrorist attack on Lhubirira secondary school in Mpondwe last night. The targeting of children is beyond comprehension. I strongly condemn this heinous attack & extend my deepest condolences to the families of the victims,” Turkish Ambassador to Uganda Mehmet Fatih Ak tweeted.

7703 | 0