Distraught families await news after Uganda school massacre
After an attack left scores of students dead and others missing, distraught relatives have gathered at a morgue in western Uganda to gather information about their missing loved ones.
Officials say at least 41 people, mostly students, were murdered at a secondary school near the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo late Friday by militants linked to ISIS.
In an atrocious attack at the Lhubiriha Secondary School in Mpondwe that shocked Uganda and drew criticism from all around the world, victims were hacked, shot, and burnt to death.
The army and police have held the Allied Democratic Front (ADF), a militia based in DR Congo, responsible for the attack amid reports that the attackers fled back to the border with six abductees in captivity following the massacre.
The military announced that it was hunting down the attackers and would recover those kidnapped.
Not an isolated incident
Many of the victims were burned beyond recognition when the attackers set a locked dormitory ablaze, frustrating efforts to identify the deceased and account for the missing.
Families wept as the corpses of their loved ones were placed in coffins and taken away for burial at a mortuary in the nearby town of Bwera.
The ADF gained a foothold in eastern DR Congo in the 1990s and has committed crimes ever since. Some of their attacks since 2019 have been claimed by ISIS, which describes the fighters as a local offshoot, the Islamic State Central Africa Province.
In June 1998, 80 students were burned to death in their dormitories by the ADF at Kichwamba Technical Institute near the border with DR Congo. More than 100 students have been also abducted by the group.
A joint offensive in 2021 was launched by both Uganda and the DRC to stop the ADF, but their attempts have failed.
The US announced a reward of up to $5 million for those who bring information leading to the capture of the group's leader.