The number of students killed during the Friday ADF raid on Lhubirira secondary school in Mpondwe, Kasese District has risen to 43, while more than 50 students are said to have been abducted.
According to Kasese DRC Joe Walusimbi, more bodies have been discovered in the burnt dormitory while many other students are missing.
The rebels burnt down a dormitory and looted the food store. Pictures of bodies of students and the burnet dormitory have been shared across social media platforms.
Earlier, Police spokesman Fred Enanga confirmed the attack.
“Last night, we registered a terrorist attack by the ADF rebels, on Lhubirira secondary school, in Mpondwe, that is located about 2 kms, from the DRC 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. Also recovered are 8 victims, who remain in critical condition at Bwera Hospital,” he said earlier.
The incidents comes about 25 years since June 8, 1998, when ADF attacked the Kichwamba Technical Institute in Kabarole, Uganda, and set three dormitories on fire, killing 80 students. The ADF abducted another 100 students and destroyed other property including laboratories and school vehicles.
This comes days after the DR Congo-based Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebel group renewed attacks close to the Uganda border.
Last Sunday night, ADF rebels attacked Domena Village in Kasindi, which is a few kilometres from Uganda’s border town of Mpondwe, killing several people.
At least 133 Congolese, including women and children, were forced to flee into Uganda and camped at Kabuyiri Catholic Church. However, most of them later returned to their country after the situation normalised, while others stayed with their relatives on the Ugandan side of the border.
The rebels are said to have resumed attacks in areas which had been pacified by UPDF and DRC forces under a joint military operation code-named Operation Shujaa.
This raises questions that the security forces could have relaxed their guard.
On Wednesday, Lt Maate Magwara, the Kasese deputy Resident District Commissioner, said the UPDF was patrolling the border in case of any eventuality. He called for calm, saying the situation was under control.
“The situation is calm; that’s why these people chose to go back to their homes instead of being held in the refugee campsites. But on our side of Uganda, the UPDF is ably manning our borders,” Lt Magarwa said on Wednesday.
However, two days after, the ADF rebels have struck.