UPDF captures ADF head behind tourists’ murders

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Uganda said Thursday it has captured the head of a militia squad blamed for the murder of two honeymooning foreign tourists and their local guide in a national park last month.

He was the only survivor of a night-time military operation on Tuesday against a unit of the feared Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) that killed six other fighters, the army said.

A Briton and a South African were murdered along with their guide in an attack on October 17 while on safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Uganda blamed the ADF, an armed militia based in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo that is affiliated with the Islamic State (IS) group.

The IS group later claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it had killed “three Christian tourists.”

Uganda’s deputy military spokesman Deo Akiiki  siad, that the unit commander, identified only as Njovu, had been injured in the back during a gun-battle on Tuesday.

“This was a successful joint military intelligence-led operation and the whole squad that had been sent by the ADF to cause mayhem, kill tourists, burn schools, hospitals, was eliminated,” Akiiki said.

“The only survivor is the commander whom we captured,” he said, adding that he was being treated in a secret location and would face trial.

Akiiki said Njovu was found with some of the belongings of the murdered tourists and their Ugandan guide’s identity card.

The victims of the October attack have been named as British national David Barlow, his South African wife Celia and the guide, Eric Ayai.

Major General Dick Olum, who oversees Uganda’s military operations against the ADF in the DRC, said another six members of the squad were shot dead in Tuesday’s operation.

It took place on Lake Edward, which straddles the Uganda-DRC border and lies to the west of the park where the three were slain.

Olum said the captured fighter had been plotting “another mission to carry out more terror attacks,” unaware the military was monitoring the group’s movements.

“The squad had seven members including their commander whom we captured. Four of the terrorists were shot and drowned in the water, two tried to swim across the water and were shot dead as well,” he said

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