July 13, 2024

Rebel Attack on Ugandan School Leaves At Least 41 Dead, Including 38 Students

A rebel attack occurred late on Friday at Lhubiriha Secondary School in Mpondwe, a border town in Uganda, resulting in the tragic deaths of at least 41 individuals, including 38 students, according to authorities on Saturday. The town is situated near the Democratic Republic of the Congo border.

The mayor of Mpondwe confirmed that the recovered bodies total 41, comprising 38 students, one guard, and two members of the local community who were shot outside the school.

Fred Enanga, a police spokesperson, stated that militants belonging to the ADF stormed the school in Mpondwe, where they set a dormitory on fire and looted food from a store. There are reports of students being abducted during the attack.

The ADF, an organization associated with the Islamic State group, is notorious for launching assaults from their bases in the volatile eastern Congo.

Ugandan authorities promptly responded to the situation, initiating a pursuit of the fleeing militants towards the Virunga National Park, a dense forest renowned for its population of endangered mountain gorillas. The army and police are actively involved in the pursuit.

Efforts are also underway to secure the release of those who were abducted during the attack, although the exact number of kidnapped individuals remains uncertain.

This recent assault represents the most severe incident perpetrated by the ADF in Uganda since late 2021 when coordinated suicide bombings in the capital, Kampala, resulted in the loss of three lives.

The attack has raised concerns regarding the expanding influence of the ADF and poses a significant challenge to Ugandan authorities.

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