At least 38 students, and a number of civilians, have been killed in a suspected rebel attack on a school in Uganda.
The victims were burned, shot, or hacked to death after suspected rebels attacked a Lhubiriha Secondary School near the border with Congo, the local mayor said on Saturday.
According to Uganda police, the attack was carried out by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), Ugandan militants with Islamic State group ties.
At least six people were abducted by the rebels who fled across the porous border into Congo after the raid on Friday night.
Authorities said that some of the students suffered fatal burns when the rebels set fire to a dormitory and others were shot or hacked with machetes
Military spokesman Brig. Felix Kulayigye in a statement said the raid, which happened around 11:30 p.m. on Friday involved about five attackers who torched the school dormitories leaving students’ bodies lying in the school compound.
It added that when soldiers from a nearby brigade responded to the attack, they found the school on fire.
Further, the statement stated that there were 47 bodies, with eight other people wounded and being treated at a local hospital.
Ugandan troops are “pursuing the perpetrators to rescue the abducted students” who were forced to carry looted food toward Congo’s Virunga National Park, it said.