The Ugandan military said it had freed 14 women held by Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in a joint operation with the DRC army.
The rescue operation was conducted Monday night by the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) and the Armed Forces of the DRC against an ADF splinter group led by Abu Wagas Kasi at the confluence of River Talha and Semullik, North Kivu province, the UPDF said in a statement issued Tuesday.
“Among those rescued from the group is a Burundi national who served as Abu Waqas’ wife and has been in the ADF ranks for five years,” the UPDF statement said, sharing pictures of the freed women.
Wagas’ group was responsible for the June 16 attack on Lhubirira Secondary School in Mpondwe in Uganda’s western district of Kasese, about 2 kilometres from the border with the DRC, the statement said.
The attack killed at least 37 students, a security guard and three others from the local community.
“The joint forces are still pursuing the group,” the statement said.
The ADF, a branch of the Islamic State in Central Africa, is a Ugandan rebel group holed up in the jungles of the eastern DRC.
The Ugandan military and their Congolese counterparts launched joint operations against the rebel group in November 2021, shortly after the ADF launched bomb attacks in Kampala, the capital of Uganda.
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