Students who survived the Friday night attack at Mpondwe-Lhubiriha Secondary School in Kasese District recall that their attackers used sharp objects and guns to break into their dormitory and end the lives of their colleagues.
The students were hesitant to open, and the person left the door. But moments later, they heard gunshots and wailing from the girl’s dormitory while another group gained access to the boy’s dormitory.
Edgar Mumbere, a senior two student and school timekeeper, explains that he rang the bell to end the Friday evening prep at exactly 10:00 p.m. Moments later, he says, they heard an unusual knock on the door accompanied by the voice of someone who was speaking in a vague Lukhonzo dialect and asking them to open the door.
Mumbere said one of the group members asked if any of the students were Muslims. While they all responded in the affirmative, one of the attackers hacked a boy who was standing at the door, killing him instantly. A group of others randomly shot at them while taking pictures of each dead body.
Mumbere hid under the bed moments after his decker-mate was killed.
Stephen Muhindo Dido, a senior three student, said that one of the students in the dormitory saw people wearing army uniforms and holding guns. He said that while the students called out to the school gatekeeper, the armed group responded with bullets to stop them from seeking help.
Muhindo recalls that the men broke into the dormitory door and started cutting the students with machetes. He said the attackers, who were speaking French, Lukhonzo, and Swahili, spent about five minutes killing their targets and setting fire to them as they left.
Muhindo smeared blood around his body and laid alongside the body of his dead friend, a trick that made them believe that he had already been killed.
Only three students survived the incident, while a number of their peers from the 62 in the boarding section are still missing.
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