Dozens of students were killed and others abducted in an attack by suspected Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels at a secondary school in western Uganda.
The attack occurred on Friday night at Lubiriha Secondary School in Mpondwe town. The ADF rebels are a militia group based in eastern Congo that has pledged allegiance to ISIS.
Ugandan police say at least 26 students were killed and 8 others injured in the attack. Some reports indicate up to 40 students may have died. The injured students are in critical condition at a local hospital.
The suspected ADF rebels set fire to the school building, making it difficult for authorities to determine if any students remained trapped inside. Security forces are pursuing the rebels in the surrounding Virunga National Park region of Congo.
The ADF originally formed as an Islamic rebel group in Uganda in the 1990s but was pushed into eastern Congo by a government crackdown. In recent years, the ADF has received funding from ISIS and carried out more deadly terrorist attacks. These have included church bombings, jailbreaks, and beheadings of civilians.
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In 2021, the ADF carried out bombings in the Ugandan capital of Kampala that killed 6 people. Uganda then sent troops into Congo to battle the ADF, and those forces remain deployed there.