Children at a Ugandan school sang gospel songs to Jesus before Islamist militants attacked them with machetes and burnt them alive in a locked dormitory.
Mary Masika lives opposite Mpondwe Lhubiriha Secondary School in Mpondwe, which housed 60 boarders. She heard the pupils engaging in the usual bedtime gospel singing at 10 pm on June 16.
Suddenly there was a strange noise, and she mistakenly thought the youngsters were having fun. Then the screaming started, and the children were killed in a diabolical frenzy of killing, which lasted an hour and a half. Some 41 people died.
Militants from the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) entered the school ground and set fire to the buildings where the pupils sleep. At the same time, they lashed out at students with machetes, maiming and killing any they could find.
Ms. Masika heard the militants shout “Allahu Akbar,” or God is greatest, in Swahili once the slaughter was over. She listened to one of the men ask another, “If the job is over.” He was standing near her gate.
Ms. Masika told the BBC: “I have been unable to eat or sleep since.”
The Africa Report says 37 of the victims were school children, one was a security guard, and three were local members of the community. Six students were also kidnapped, army sources said.
A BBC team visiting the site reported seeing dried blood on the ground near the girls’ dormitory. They had been hacked to death with machetes or killed with bullets as they fled. The boys’ dormitory had been locked and set alight with fuel by the militants. The children’s beds were heaps of wire mesh with burnt body parts still stuck to them.
ADF is a group based in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Ugandan school is located close to the national border. The Islamic State-linked group was founded in the 1990s, claiming a militant response to the alleged persecution of Muslims.
Both local Christians and Muslims attended the funerals of the children on Sunday. President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda has promised to send more soldiers to the local area.
Photo courtesy: Zoltan Tasi/Unsplash
Christopher Eyte lives with his wife Céline and three children in Swansea, Wales, UK. He has worked as a journalist for many years and writes his own blog (hislovefrees.life) encouraging others in their walk with Jesus. He became a Christian in February 2002, after a friend explained God's amazing grace!