Thursday, May 23, 2024

Islamic State Linked Rebel Group Attacks Ugandan School; 37 Students Killed

Kumpala : Uganda — Militants linked to the Islamic State group hacked and killed 37 students to death in western Uganda in the country’s worst such attack in over a decade, army and police officials said Saturday.

The army said it was pursuing militants from the Democratic Forces (ADF) after the cross-border raid late Friday on a secondary school in Mpondwe in the Kasese district near the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The group, known as the Allied Democratic Forces, attacked the school on Friday night in Mpondwe, a town near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, a police spokesman said on Twitter. During the attack, a dormitory was burned and food in a store was looted, said the spokesman, Fred Enanga. All eight who were wounded were hospitalized in critical condition, he added.

Investigators said dormitories were set alight and students cut down with knives in a brutal late-night assault by ADF, which is one of the deadliest groups active in DR Congo’s strife-torn east.

“Unfortunately, 37 bodies have been discovered and conveyed to Bwera hospital mortuary,” Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) spokesman Felix Kulayigye said in a statement, referring to a town near where the attack occurred.

Eight people were injured while six others were kidnapped and taken by the attackers toward Virunga National Park, which straddles the DR Congo border, he added.

“UPDF embarked on pursuing the perpetrators to rescue the abducted students.”

The Resident Commissioner for Kasese, Joe Walusimbi, told AFP that at least 25 of the deceased were “confirmed to be students at the school.”

This weekend’s attack was widely condemned by lawmakers, opposition parties and Western embassies, who called on the government to institute measures to prevent such actions in the future.

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