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Uganda school attack: Rebel group linked to ISIS kills 41 students; 'Some injured, others abducted'

Besides those killed in the incident, eight people remain in critical condition after the attack on Lhubiriha secondary school in Mpondwe.

Written By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 Kampala Updated on: June 17, 2023 15:21 IST
Ugandan security forces patrol on a street in Kampala
Image Source : AP/FILE Ugandan security forces patrol on a street in Kampala

In a shocking development, rebels linked to the Islamic State group attacked a school in western Uganda, resulting in the killing of at least 41 people. According to reports, of those killed in the incident, eight people remain in critical condition after the attack on Lhubiriha secondary school in Mpondwe.

Meanwhile, Police, in a statement said that the Allied Democratic Forces carried out the attack late Friday night on a school in the border town of Mpondwe. The school is privately owned and is located about 2 kilometres from the Congo border. “A dormitory was burnt and a food store looted. So far 25 bodies have been recovered from the school and transferred to Bwera Hospital,” the statement said, adding that eight others are in critical condition.

Though it was not clear whether all those killed were students, Winnie Kiiza, an influential political leader, condemned the “cowardly attack” on Twitter and confirmed at least 25 students lost their lives. "I strongly condemn the cowardly attack on our students. Attacks on schools are unacceptable and are a grave violation of children’s rights. Schools should always be a safe place for every student, where students can learn, play and grow to reach their full potential," she said. 

Who is ADF fighting against its own people?

The Allied Democratic Forces, or ADF, is accused of launching many attacks on civilians in recent years, notably on civilian communities in remote parts of eastern Congo. The ADF has long opposed the rule of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, a US security ally who has been in power since 1986.

Established in the early 1990s in Uganda, the ADF later was forced to flee into eastern Congo, where many rebel groups are able to operate because Congo’s central government has limited control there. The ADF has ties with the Islamic State group.

Ugandan authorities for years have vowed to hunt down the ADF’s fighters at home and abroad. In 2021, Uganda launched joint air and artillery strikes in Congo against ADF rebels — against the ADF.

Also Read: Uganda President signs legislation with death penalty for same-sex couple

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