Students die in massacre;Briefing

19th June 1998 at 01:00
Uganda

MORE THAN 100 students of Kichwamba Technical Institute in Uganda were massacred on June 8 by rebels of the Allied Democratic Front. Many were burned to death while others were machine-gunned as they tried to escape from burning dormitories.

A further 150 of the 420 students were reported missing. Amos Manyiraho, the institute's registrar, said 11 students were being treated for severe burns and gun wounds at Buhinga hospital.

Authorities said the missing students, mostly girls, were taken hostage by the rebels. ADF insurgents are part of Idi Amin's killing machine, the State Research Bureau, that killed thousands of people during the former dictator's regime of terror in Uganda.

Survivors said about 200 heavily armed rebels attacked the technical institute in Kabarole district, near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, at 5.30am. The rebels locked the dormitories from the outside before setting them ablaze with petrol. Those who tried to escape were shot as they jumped from the windows.

The rebels have since retreated to their hideouts in the Ruwenzori mountains. Rebel attacks on soft targets - including educational institutions - have becomecommon.

Residents near the institute claimed students had snubbed ADF overtures to join the militias. "The massacre was intended to create fear among dissenting youths in the area," said Lawrence Kawamara, thedistrict's defence secretary.

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