FORT PORTAL –More than 200 people have pitched camp at Karugutu Primary School in Karugutu Town Council, Ntoroko district following an Allied Democratic Forces – ADF rebels attack on two villages on Tuesday.
The Defence Ministry Spokesperson, Felix Kulayigye confirmed the incident, saying the rebels had attacked the villages of Kyobe and Kayanja II in Bweramule Sub County.
Kulayigye said that estimated 20-30 ADF fighters on Monday night crossed River Semuliki to Kyanja in Ntoroko district. He noted that 17 rebels had been killed during an exchange of fire with UPDF, while one soldier of the Ugandan army didn’t survive.
According to Kulayigye, the Ugandan army captured at least 13 ADF combatants during the Tuesday fighting in Ntoroko.
“Thirteen enemies were captured alive,” said Kulayigye, adding that most of the arrested fighters were below the age of 18.
Following the attacks, residents –mainly women and children fled their homes, pitching camp at Karugutu Primary School, about 15 kilometres from Bweramule – an estimated 372Kms west of the capital- Kampala and 78km – North East of Fort Portal (tourism) city.
Frank Musinguzi, a resident of Kibuku Village narrated that a group of about 50 people attacked the area, taking two residents hostage with demands that they are guided to the UPDF barracks. Ntoroko district is home to the Mountain Warfare Training School and Barracks in Karugutu Town Council.
Another resident, Douglas Musinguzi said that the rebels, who were dressed in black clothes, were communicating in Swahili, shooting randomly at civilians and ordering them to flee their homes.
“I immediately started running when I heard gunshots. I only learn’t that rebels had attacked the village long after leaving the village,” added Florence Katutsi.
Maria Biira who fled with her three children recounted that she was asleep when she heard heavy gunfire – leading to her running away without establishing the reasons behind the shooting.
Biira added that most of the men were hesitant to flee the area because they wanted to protect their animals.
“Our men had to stay home to protect our cows; we have about 600 herds of cattle and we couldn’t leave them. My husband claimed that he would rather die than leave our animals behind,” narrated Biira.
Sedrack Bwambale the Karugutu Town Council Principle Town Agent said authorities had embarked on registering all people who had pitched camp at the school, adding that more arrivals were still expected. He noted that there was an urgent need for assistance.
Additional reporting by URN