Uganda said on Wednesday it had killed a number of militiamen allied to the Islamic State group who it blames for the murder of a honeymooning couple last month.
A Briton and a South African as well as their Ugandan guide lost their lives in the October 17 attack that police said was the work of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) militia.
The Islamic State group had claimed responsibility for the assault on the trio as they were on safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park in southwestern Uganda.
The Ugandan army said Wednesday it had killed a “significant number” of ADF fighters in an operation Tuesday night on Lake Edward on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo where the militia is based.
“Our joint forces have been tracking them since the attack on the tourists until we located them as they crossed Lake Edward on boats at night and we eliminated them,” deputy army spokesman Deo Akiiki told AFP.
“We are determined to eliminate all the ADF splinter groups to make our country safe for our people and our visitors,” he said.
President Yoweri Museveni has called on Ugandan security forces to ensure the ADF was “wiped out” and the military has carried out a number of air strikes against its positions in the DRC.
The ADF is historically a Ugandan rebel coalition whose biggest group comprised Muslims opposed to Museveni.
Established in eastern Congo in 1995, the group is accused of slaughtering thousands of civilians in the violence-ravaged region.
In June, ADF fighters killed 42 people including 37 students in an attack on a high school in western Uganda near the DRC border.
Tourism is a top foreign exchange earner in Uganda, contributing almost 10 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) last year, according to government figures.