IS-Linked ADF Militants Kill 10 in Uganda

Militants linked to the Islamic State jihadist group have burned at least 10 civilians to death in an attack on a southwestern town in Uganda, police said Tuesday.

The gunmen from the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), one of the deadliest militias in the strife-torn east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, crossed the border to attack a trading center in Kamwenge, police said.

“Preliminary findings reveal that 10 assailants armed with SMG rifles attacked and fatally burned to death 10 people,” regional police spokesman Vincent Twesige said, referring to submachine guns.

The attackers also torched a motorcycle and looted a store, he said.

Twesige said the Ugandan army had been deployed to pursue the militants, which the Islamic State group has called its local offshoot.

The attack at around 2:00 am on Tuesday (2300 GMT Monday) came days after Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said at least 200 ADF rebels had been killed in September by air strikes in DR Congo led by Uganda.

The ADF is historically a Ugandan rebel coalition whose biggest group comprises Muslims opposed to Museveni.

Established in eastern DRC in 1995, the group became the deadliest of scores of outlawed forces in the deeply troubled region.

It has been blamed for massacres, kidnappings, and looting, with a death toll estimated in the thousands.

In June, ADF militia members killed 42 people, including 37 students, in a high school in western Uganda near the border with DRC.

It was one of the deadliest attacks in Uganda since 2010 when a double attack in Kampala killed 76 people in a raid claimed by the Somali-based Islamist group Al-Shabaab.

Since April 2019, some ADF attacks in eastern DRC have been claimed by the Islamic State group (IS), which calls the group the Islamic State Central Africa Province.

In a report published in June, UN experts said the Islamic State group has provided financial support to the ADF since at least 2019.

The United States last year placed the ADF on its list of “terrorist” organizations linked to IS.

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