Uganda: Gunmen Raid UPDF Detach, Kill Two, Seize Guns

Unknown gunmen have overrun a Uganda People's Defense Forces (UPDF) army detach in Opit trading center, Lakwana Sub-county Gulu District, killing two people and looting army uniforms before fleeing with eight guns.

The raid happened at about 3am on Friday at Opit Local Defense Unit (LDU) detach under the Alpha Battalion located approximately 30 kilometers out of Gulu town in Northern Uganda.

Two of the dead includes a LDU soldier identified as Alfonse Ojara and a five-year-old boy identified as Hagai Okullu. The two were reportedly shot at by the assailants.

Fourth Division Spokes Person, Lt Hassan Kato, confirmed the attack adding that they are hunting for the assailants.

He said gunshots were exchanged between the LDUs and the gunmen who broke into the detach armory.

Lt Kato said they are still investigating the motives of the attackers, their identities and where they came from.

He said the attack was the first on a military installation ever since the region regained peace following the two decades war waged by Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army rebels.

Fourth Division army commander Brig Kayanja Muhanga who visited the raided detach said the attack was just mere 'thuggery'.

"People should not be misled into thinking that this is new rebel group forming in the region. These are thugs who wanted guns to rescue their colleagues who were being held at the army detach," Brig Muhanga said.

He explained that earlier on, two suspects from Oyam district were arrested in possession of illegal guns and were being detained at the army detention cells.

Brig Muhanga noted that the 'thugs' managed to overrun the detach because it had only 12 LDU's who supplement security in the area.

He however noted that only three AK47 assault rifles were looted, contrary to what Lt Kato's figure of eight guns.

" We have our forces on the ground who are pursuing the thugs. What they did is serious crime and we shall not rest until we get them," Said Brig Muhanga.

He urged the locals not to panic as UPDF tries to restore calm in the area.

LCV Councilor Lakwana Sub County, Mr Damasco Odong, said the attackers over powered the soldiers deployed.

"Some officers took off for fear of their lives. Army uniforms were also taken by the attackers," Said Mr Odong.

By press time, the UPDF had reinforced two platoons of their soldiers in an attempt to counter any further attacks.

Source: The Monitor.