25 killed by militants in school attack

Map: Map of Mpondwe, Uganda

Map: Map of Mpondwe, Uganda

At least 25 people have been killed in a school in western Uganda by rebels linked to the Islamic State group.

Eight other people remain in critical condition after the attack on Lhubiriha secondary school in Mpondwe.

Police say Friday’s attack was carried out by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) – a Ugandan group based in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Soldiers are pursuing the group which fled to Virunga National Park in the DRC, police added.

“So far, 25 bodies have been recovered from the school and transferred to Bwera Hospital,” national police spokesman Fred Enaga said in a statement on Saturday.

A school dormitory was set on fire and a grocery store was looted in Friday night’s attack, he added.

A number of students are still missing, reports the AFP news agency.

The attack on the school, located less than two kilometers (1.25 miles) from Uganda’s border with the DRC, is the first such attack on a Ugandan school in many years.

In June 1998, 80 students were burned to death in their dormitories in an ADF attack on the Kichwamba Technical Institute near the DRC border. Over 100 students were abducted.

The ADF was formed in eastern Uganda in the 1990s and took up arms against longtime president Yoweri Museveni, alleging the government persecuted Muslims.

After his defeat by the Ugandan army in 2001, he relocated to the province of North Kivu in the DRC.

ADF rebels have been operating from inside the DRC for two decades.

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