Source: Security Was Aware of Gulu Police Attack Top story

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In short
A source in JOC, says that after discussing the intelligence, it was resolved to share the information with the UPDF 4th Division Commander and Gulu District Police commander, Martin Okoyo to counter the attack. On June 12th, both commanders were duly notified and asked to make the necessary deployments to counter the attack.

Security was fully aware of the planned attack on Gulu Central Police Station on June 12th, URN can reveal. According to information obtained from security, the military in Gulu received intelligence on the planned attack on June 9 indicating that there would be a raid on the police station at around 2am on June 13th. The intelligence was shared by the Joint Operations Command (JOC), which brings together heads of all security agencies in the country. 

A source in JOC, says that after discussing the intelligence, it was resolved to share the information with the UPDF 4th Division Commander and Gulu District Police commander, Martin Okoyo to counter the attack. On June 12th, both commanders were duly notified and asked to make the necessary deployments to counter the attack. At 6pm, UPDF personnel were briefed at the Division headquarters and informed about the impending attack before they were taken to Gulu Central Police Station, where the DPC was also briefing his commanders. 

Shortly after briefing the commanders, the DPC called all the station personnel for a general briefing. But this took almost 30 minutes to get all the personnel for the briefing in the Police station yard. However, one of the officers at Gulu Central Police Station told URN on condition of anonymity that he heard gunshots midway the briefing forcing several officers to scamper for dear life. His statement is collaborated by a female police officer at the station.

According to the officer, they were attending a briefing jointly addressed by the DPC Okoyo, the Officer in Charge of the Station, Assistant Superintendent of Police Isaac Atukunda and some unidentified army officers from the 4th Division. The evening deployment officer, Sergeant Benson Odong was outside the police station during the briefing. She says from the look of things, it appears the UPDF officers were aware of the attack, since they kept telling them to be on high alert, saying anything could happen. 

According to the officer, no sooner had the briefing been completed, than they had gunshots and saw Sergeant Odong jumping inside Gulu main hospital. She says that on hearing the gunshots, Okoyo jumped and pulled a gun from a traffic officer as he asked him to take cover since he was dressed in the white traffic police uniform.

According to the source, she and other officer took cover in the suspect's wing and heard Dan Odiya Oola taking the attackers to continue firing while directing them where he was being held. Oola had earlier been picked up in connection to the attack at Opit Army detach. She says the late Moses Masaba, the former Gulu Fire Officer was caught in the cross fire as he was away and accessed the station through the behind gate while speaking on phone.

Another survivor says she was travelling in an army vehicle when she heard the first bullet being fired towards the vehicle. According to the officer, the bullet hit Corporal Moses Edema who was traveling with them from a burial of another officer in Kiryadongo district. She says the attackers sprayed the vehicle with bullets injuring another officer, but the others were saved by bags of charcoal inside the vehicle.

According to eyewitnesses, the attackers could have mistaken the vehicle to be bringing in reinforcement. But Hassan Kato, the 4th Division Army spokesperson, says Corporal Edema and the other officer were caught in friendly fire.
 
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Private Michael Opoka, who is nursing a fractured arm at Lacor Hospital, says he was also part of the briefing the attack occurred. According to Opoka, they engaged the attackers and foiled the plan to access the police station.
 
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Police spokesperson, Fred Enanga, says the attackers struck the police station on a tip off from a boda boda cyclist, Alfred Odongpiny who was doing surveillance for them. Odongpiny was picked up in an operation following the attack.
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Brigadier Muhanga Kayanja, the 4th Division Commander denies claims that some UPDF officers were part of the plot to attack the station.
 
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