Dozens of Uganda pupils killed by militants linked to Islamic State group

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Nearly 40 pupils have been killed at a school in western Uganda by rebels linked to the Islamic State group (IS).

Five militants attacked the Lhubiriha secondary school in Mpondwe at around 23:30 (20:30 GMT) on Friday.

They entered dormitories, setting fire and using machetes to kill and maim the pupils, officials said.

The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) – based in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) – have been blamed and a manhunt is under way.

More than 60 people are educated at the school, most of whom live there.

Uganda’s information minister said 37 students were confirmed to have been killed, but did not give their ages.

Twenty of them were attacked with machetes and 17 of them burned to death, Chris Baryomunsi told the BBC.

The Ugandan army said the rebels had also killed a school guard and three members of the local community.

Survivors said the rebels threw a bomb into the dormitory after the machete attack. It is not clear if this resulted in a fire in the building which was reported earlier.

Six students were also abducted to carry food that the rebels stole from the school’s stores, he added. The militants then returned across the border into the DRC.

Some of the bodies are said to have been badly burnt and DNA tests will need to be carried out to identify them.