Gunmen Kill 2, Seize 8 Firearms in Raid on UPDF Detach

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Fourth Division Spokesperson Lt Hassan Kato confirmed the incident in an interview to URN saying gunshots were exchanged between the LDUs and the attackers who broke into the detach armory.

Gunmen have killed two people, looted eight weapons and several army uniforms after overrunning a Uganda Peoples Defense Forces detach in Opit trading centre, Lakwana Sub County, Gulu district, Friday morning.

The raid happened at about 3am at Opit Local Defense Unit detach operating under the Alpha Battalion located approximately 30 kilometers out of Gulu town in Northern Uganda.

The dead include a LDU soldier identified as Alfonse Ojara and a five-year-old boy identified as Haggai Okullu. They were reportedly shot at by the assailants.

Fourth Division Spokesperson Lt Hassan Kato confirmed the incident in an interview to URN saying gunshots were exchanged between the LDUs and the attackers who broke into the detach armory.

He said the attack was the first on a military installation ever since the region regained peace following a two decade war waged by the Lord's Resistance Army rebels led by Joseph Kony.

Lt Kato said they are trying to ascertain the motives of the attackers, who they are and where they came from. But fourth Division Commander Brig Kayanja Muhanga who visited the raided detach said the attack was  just an act of robbery.

He added that the attackers just wanted to steal guns and rescue their jailed colleagues from Oyam district who were earlier arrested in possession of illegal firearms.

Brig Muhanga however noted that the 'thugs' managed to overrun the detach because it had only 12 LDU's who supplement security in the area. Brig Muhanga added that they have dispatched their forces to pursue the thugs and bring them to book.

However in contradiction of earlier figures, Brig Muhanga says that only three AK47 assault riffles were looted from the armory.

Lakwana Sub County LCV Councilor Damasco Odong regretted the incident and urged locals to be vigilant in spotting suspicious individuals.

Daniel Ocan a mobile money operator in Opit Trading center told URN that there has been laxity in security in the area prompting such attacks. He said he is afraid that the thugs will now use the guns looted to terrorize traders in the area.

By press time, the UPDF had reinforced two platoons of their soldiers in an attempt to counter any further attacks at the detach and Opit trading centre.