Congo-based Islamist group stages deadly ambush in Uganda

KAMPALA (Reuters) – A rebel group based in Congo and allied to Islamic State killed at least one man and injured another when it ambushed a truck in western Uganda overnight, the army said on Friday, in a relatively rare cross-border attack.

The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) started as a Ugandan insurgency but has operated from the jungles of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo for almost three decades.

In 2019 the ADF pledged allegiance to Islamic State, which has since claimed responsibility for a number of the group’s bombings and massacres.

At around 01:00 (1000 GMT) on Friday, five ADF fighters ambushed a vehicle carrying onions at a road junction in Katojo, a village some 3 km from the Congolese border, said Deo Akiiki, deputy spokesman for the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF).

Of the truck’s four occupants, one man was shot dead, another is missing, a third was seriously injured, while a woman escaped unhurt, he said in a statement.

“UPDF squads are tracking down the attackers,” Akiiki said.

Two years ago the UPDF launched ground and air campaign operation in eastern Congo to try to root out the insurgents, which it claims has succeeded in killing more than 560 fighters and destroyed their camps.

Last month, Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni said an air strike had killed a senior ADF commander, Meddie Nkalubo, the alleged mastermind of suicide bombings in Kampala in 2021 that left seven people dead.

(Reporting by Fiston Mahamba and Elias Biryabarema; Editing by Hereward Holland, Estelle Shirbon and Christina Fincher)