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Mary Masika in Mpondwe, Uganda - 18 June 2023

Mary Masika, who lives reverse the varsity says she would usually hear the scholars singing earlier than bedtime

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Pupils in Uganda had been singing gospel songs earlier than a lethal assault by Islamist militants on Friday, a girl who lives reverse the varsity says.

“Then I heard screaming,” Mary Masika advised the BBC. The vicious assault in Mpondwe left about 40 individuals useless.

Islamic State-linked militants have been blamed for the assault.

The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) was created within the Nineteen Nineties and took up arms towards President Yoweri Museveni, alleging persecution of Muslims.

They’re largely based mostly in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The Mpondwe Lhubiriha Secondary College attacked on Friday is near the border.

Ms Masika says she and different residents have been left terrified by the assault which lasted about 90 minutes.

“I’ve been unable to eat or sleep since then,” she advised the BBC in Swahili.

The scholars normally sing earlier than bedtime – and at first she and her daughter thought the noise that interrupted their songs at round 22:00 (20:30 GMT) steered that they had been having a little bit of enjoyable.

However it quickly turned clear that one thing horrific was beneath means on the faculty, which had round 60 boarders dwelling in a small compound.

ADF rebels had entered dormitories, setting fireplace to them and utilizing machetes to kill and maim college students.

One household in Mpondwe held the funerals on Sunday for a father and son killed within the assault – 47-year-old safety guard Elphanas Mbusa and 17-year-old Masereka Elton.

Hurubana Kimadi Onesmus, 69, in Mpondwe, Uganda - 18 June 2023

Hurubana Kimadi Onesmus misplaced his son, a college watchman, and at the very least certainly one of his grandsons – it isn’t clear if the opposite has been kidnapped

Their different son, 15-year-old Brian Muhindo who was additionally attending the varsity, is lacking. They have no idea if he’s amongst the six boys kidnapped or a type of whose our bodies can’t be recognized as a result of they’ve been so badly burned.

Hurubana Kimadi Onesmus advised the BBC he discovered it obscure how the attackers had been capable of infiltrate the varsity the place his son, the safety guard, labored and the place his grandsons had been learning.

“There’s a very heavy navy presence within the space,” the 69-year-old mentioned.

A burnout building at the school in Mpondwe, Uganda - 18 June 2023

The BBC group got a couple of minutes to {photograph} the scene in school in Mpondwe

Now there may be a variety of safety on the faculty – and the BBC group was given only some minutes to take some images of the burnt buildings.

It was a devastating and upsetting scene.

Numerous dried blood remains to be on the bottom outdoors the women’ dormitory – they’d been attacked by machetes and others shot useless as they ran away.

The boys’ dormitory had been locked – they’d both refused to open it to the rebels or they had been locked inside by them. The militants poured gas on the constructing and set it alight.

Contained in the odor of dying is unmistakeable – beds have been lowered to wire mesh with items of flesh nonetheless caught to them.

The burnout remnants of the boys' dormitory at the school in Mpondwe, Uganda - 18 June 2023

It’s not clear if the doorways of the boys’ dormitory was locked by these inside or the rebels

Ms Masika mentioned in direction of the top of the assault, at round 23:30, she heard one of many assailants speaking at her gate and asking a fellow fighter if “the job was accomplished”.

They had been speaking in Swahili – the lingua franca within the area – and afterwards started shouting “Allahu Akbar”, which means “God is best”.

She mentioned after these chants certainly one of them added: “We have now succeeded in destabilising Museveni’s nation.”

Mourner at a funeral in Mpondwe, Uganda - 18 June 2023

A number of funerals had been held on Sunday for these killed within the assault

In response, President Museveni vowed to ship extra troops to Rwenzori Mountains, that are alongside the border between Uganda and the DR Congo, saying: “Their motion… the determined, cowardly, terrorist motion… is not going to save them.”

The realm round Mpondwe appears to be a mixture of Christians and Muslims. A few of these attending the funerals on Sunday had been wearing conventional Muslim apparel.

Different funerals for the pupils killed within the assault had been held in villages throughout the area, with most individuals dumbfounded and pained by the brutality of the assault.

Map: Map of Mpondwe, Uganda

Map: Map of Mpondwe, Uganda

By Maggi

"Greetings! I am a media graduate with a diverse background in the news industry. From working as a reporter to producing content, I have a well-rounded understanding of the field and a drive to stay at the forefront of the industry." When I'm not writing content, I'm Playing and enjoying with my Kids.

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