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Uganda: Militants attack school killing over 40 people including pupils

Militants linked to Islamic State have attacked a school in western Uganda near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, killing at least 40 people including pupils.

The terrorists also abducted six others in the attack on Lhubiriha secondary school in Mpondwe, the military said on Saturday in a statement.

A further eight people remain in a critical condition after the attack. The pupils who were killed were boys who were staying in dormitories at the school.

The attackers, from the rebel group Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), fled towards Virunga National Park in Congo, police said.

The ADF rebels according to local media reporting burnt a dormitory and a food store was also looted during the incident. Some of the victims were burnt or hacked to death.

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According to defence spokesperson Felix Kulayigye, military personnel found the bodies of the dead when they arrived at the school.

“Our forces are pursuing the enemy to rescue those abducted and destroy this group,” he said earlier on Twitter.

Ugandan officials said the attackers had stayed in the town two days before the attack, marking their target.

Major General Dick Olum, the army’s commander for western Uganda and in charge of a military deployment in the DRC said an unidentified youth had gone to the school to check its layout before the attack.

“That is how the attackers came and locked the boys’ door. The boys really tried to fight back, but they were overpowered. The attackers had lit mattresses,” Olum told reporters from Mpondwe.

“In the girls dorm, they found their door open, hence killing them and cutting them.”

The ADF was created in eastern Uganda in the 1990s and took up arms against long-serving President, Yoweri Museveni, alleging government persecution of Muslims.

Some members of the Ugandan Muslim community say they face discrimination in public life, including in education and the workplace.

After defeat by the Ugandan army in 2001, the ADF relocated to North Kivu province in the DRC. ADF rebels have been operating from inside the DRC for the past two decades.

Photo: BBC


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