Authorities blamed the deadly attack on the Allied Democratic Forces, which is linked to ISIL.
At least 25 people were killed in an attack by an armed group linked to the Islamic State (ISIS) on a school in western Uganda near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, police said Saturday.
Late Friday, members of the Ugandan Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a Ugandan group based in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, who had pledged allegiance to ISIL, attacked Lhubiirira Secondary School in Mpondwe, burning down a dormitory and looting food.
“So far, 25 bodies have been recovered from the school and transferred to Bwera Hospital. Eight more victims remain in critical condition at Bwera Hospital,” Ugandan police said on Twitter.
. @FredEnanga1 “Last night, we documented a terrorist attack by ADF rebels on the Lhubiirira Secondary School in Mpondwe, about 2 kilometers from the DRC border. A dormitory was burned and a food shop was looted. So far, there have been 25 dead bodies recovered from school and… pic.twitter.com/3WVfY2q9lz
— Uganda Police Force (@PoliceUg) June 17, 2023
Authorities did not specify how many students were among the victims.
Police added that officers were hunting for the attacker, who fled to Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In April, ADF attacked a village in eastern DRC, killing at least 20 people.
Uganda has sent troops into the Democratic Republic of Congo to help fight the ADF.
The group is believed to have killed 36 people in a nighttime attack on the village of Mukondi in eastern DRC in March.
Ugandan authorities also blamed the group for a deadly suicide bombing in the capital Kampala in 2021.
The ADF, considered a “terrorist” group by the United States, is considered the deadliest of dozens of armed militias roaming the mineral-rich eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
In 1995, the ADF was formed by a rebel coalition including the Muslim Liberation Army of Uganda and the National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (NALU) to fight the government of Yoweri Museveni.
Over the years, the ADF was supported by subsequent governments in the Democratic Republic of the Congo keen to subvert Rwanda and Uganda’s influence in the country.
But in 2013, the ADF began attacking Congolese military targets, causing the army to fight back. As a result, its leader, Jamil Mululu, fled to Tanzania in 2015, where he was arrested and extradited to his home country to stand trial on terrorism charges.
In recent years, ADF has been linked to the militant group ISIL (ISIS) and has called itself the Madina of Tauheed Wau Mujahideen – City of Monotheism and Mujahideen (MTM).