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Friday, September 29, 2023

25 Killed, Several Abducted in School Attack by ISIL-Linked Militants in Uganda

A group of militants affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) launched a deadly attack on a secondary school in western Uganda, killing 25 people and abducting some others, according to Ugandan police and military.

The attack took place on Friday night at Lhubirira Secondary School in Mpondwe, a town near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The assailants, who belong to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a rebel group that operates in eastern DRC and has pledged allegiance to ISIL, set fire to a dormitory and looted food from the school.

“So far 25 bodies have been recovered from the school and transferred to Bwera Hospital. Also recovered are eight victims, who remain in critical condition at Bwera Hospital,” Ugandan police said on Twitter.

Police did not specify how many of the victims were students. The ADF militants fled towards Virunga National Park in DRC after the attack, and Ugandan forces are pursuing them to rescue the abducted people and destroy the group, said defence spokesperson Felix Kulayigye.


The ADF is one of the most active armed groups in eastern DRC, where it has been accused of committing atrocities against civilians and attacking UN peacekeepers. The group was founded in the 1990s by Ugandan Muslims who opposed President Yoweri Museveni’s rule and sought to establish an Islamic state in Uganda. It was largely defeated by the Ugandan army but some remnants escaped to DRC, where they have continued their insurgency.

In April, the ADF killed at least 20 people in a village in eastern DRC. The group has also claimed responsibility for several attacks in Uganda, including a series of bombings in Kampala in 2010 that killed 76 people.

The attack on the school is the latest incident of violence against education facilities in Africa, where armed groups often target schools for ideological or strategic reasons. According to UNICEF, more than 2,400 schools were attacked or closed due to insecurity in 14 African countries between 2017 and 2020.

Some possible sentences to conclude the article are:

  • The Ugandan government has condemned the attack and vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice. It has also urged parents and teachers to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activities around schools.
  • The attack has sparked outrage and grief among Ugandans, who have expressed their solidarity with the victims and their families on social media. Many have also called for more security measures and support for schools in conflict-affected areas.
  • The attack has raised concerns about the growing threat of ISIL-linked groups in Africa, where they have exploited political instability, poverty, and weak governance to expand their influence and recruit fighters. The UN has warned that ISIL poses a serious challenge to peace and stability in the continent.

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