Ugandan troops rescue three students kidnapped by Islamist fighters, army says
PHOTO CAPTION: Illustrative photo — A Ugandan soldier sprints to another building during a multinational field training exercise as part of Exercise Justified Accord 2023 (JA23), Feb. 21, 2023, in Isiolo, Kenya. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Steven Eaton via U.S. Defense Visual Information Distribution Service)
KAMPALA (Reuters) -The Ugandan military have rescued three of the six students who were kidnapped by Islamist fighters when they stormed a school in the west of the country last week and massacred 42 people, mostly young students, the army said on Wednesday.
"There were six students kidnapped and three have so far been rescued," said military spokesman Felix Kulayigye.
A woman with two children who had been kidnapped outside the school was also rescued, together with her children, while two militants were killed and two guns captured, Kulayigye said.
On Friday night a group of fighters from the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a group linked to Islamic State, stormed the Lhubirira Secondary School in Mpondwe on Uganda's border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The militiamen entered a boys' dormitory, shot at the children and set the building on fire, incinerating nearly everyone in it. They then entered a girls' dormitory and killed them with machetes.
Most of the bodies recovered from the boys' dormitory were burnt beyond recognition and authorities are using DNA tests to identify them.
ADF, formerly a Ugandan rebel group, operates in the jungles of eastern Congo and has over the past two decades been blamed for killings of civilians there.
The group has also sometimes carried out attacks in Uganda including bombings at a police station and near the parliament building in the Ugandan capital in 2021.
(Reporting by Fiston Mahamba in Congo and Elias Biryabarema in Uganda; Editing by Alison Williams, Hereward Holland and Estelle Shirbon)