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


The assailants believed to be rebels, burned, shot, or hacked their victims to death before fleeing across the porous border into Congo.

Rebel Attack on Uganda
Rebel Attack on Uganda ( Photo: Daily Sabah )

Suspected rebels launched a brutal attack on a secondary school near the Ugandan-Congolese border, resulting in the deaths of 41 people, including 38 students

The attack occurred on Friday night, with at least six individuals abducted by the rebels. The casualties comprised the students, a security guard, and two local community members who were killed outside the school. The rebels set fire to a dormitory, causing fatal burns to some of the students. In contrast, others were shot or hacked with machetes, as reported by Mpondwe-Lhubiriha Mayor Selevest Mapoze.

The Ugandan military indicated that around five attackers were involved in the raid, which took place at approximately 11:30 p.m. Upon responding to the incident, soldiers from a nearby brigade discovered the school engulfed in flames, with lifeless bodies of students strewn across the compound—a statement from military spokesman Brig. Felix Kulayigye mentioned a total of 47 bodies, with eight individuals wounded and receiving treatment at a local hospital. Ugandan troops are currently pursuing the perpetrators in an attempt to rescue the abducted students, who have been forced to transport looted food toward Congo’s Virunga National Park.

Ugandan authorities have attributed the attack to the ADF, an extremist group known for launching assaults from its bases in the eastern Congo

Lhubiriha Secondary School, a co-ed privately owned institution situated in the border town of Mpondwe within the Ugandan district of Kasese, was targeted by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). The group has a history of conducting attacks against civilians in remote areas of eastern Congo and has been opposed to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s rule for years.

Winnie Kiiza, a prominent political leader and former lawmaker, condemned the attack on social media, denouncing such violence against schools as a grave violation of children’s rights. The ADF, which rarely claims responsibility for its attacks, was established in the early 1990s by marginalized Ugandan Muslims who opposed Museveni’s policies. Following a military operation by Ugandan forces, the ADF relocated to eastern Congo, where various rebel groups operate due to limited government control. Over time, the ADF has established ties with the Islamic State group.


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