Ugandan police said 20 people had been arrested for suspected collaboration with the notorious militia group blamed for last week’s attack on a school near the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
“Twenty arrests have been made of suspected collaborators, suspected ADF collaborators,” police spokesperson Fred Enanga told a press conference, referring to the Daesh-linked Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) based in the DRC.
“We also have the head teacher and the director of school as part of our inquiries. They need to give us answers to certain questions,” he added, without making it clear if they had been arrested.
Enanga said the death toll from the grisly raid on the Lhubiriha Secondary School in Mpondwe, in a remote area of western Uganda, was now 42, including 37 students.
Ugandan authorities are pursuing the assailants who fled back towards the porous DRC border with their abductees, ranging between five and seven.
‘Crimes against humanity’
“An attack on innocent children is barbaric, is inhumane and of course constitutes crimes against humanity,” Enanga said.
The oldest among the victims so far identified was a 95-year-old woman and the youngest a 12-year-old girl.
Another six people were injured in the attack which took place late on Friday, and remain in hospital.
The authorities have said 15 people from the community, including five girls, were still missing.
Grief-stricken Ugandans were on Monday burying more victims, while other families were still desperately hunting for news of their loved ones or facing an agonising wait for DNA tests on some of the students who were burnt beyond recognition.
It was the deadliest attack in Uganda since twin bombings in Kampala in 2010 killed 76 people in a strike claimed by Al Shabab terror group.