Bullets as gunmen attack Gulu army barracks, police

UPDF registering small arms in Gulu

UPDF registering small arms in Gulu

Gunfire has been reported in Gulu town northern Uganda.

The police and army have been reportedly deployed on the streets to contain the situation.

According to eyewitnesses, gunmen launched a raid on Centenary bank Gulu branch, then attacked Gulu Police Station before launching another raid on a military barracks.

According to preliminary reports, heavily armed thugs entered Gulu town at about 8pm.

Police swiftly swung into action to search the four vehicles they were travelling in.

This sparked a confrontation that lasted for one hour and 30 minutes.

Four police vehicles were later seen chasing after the attackers in attempt to drive them out of the town.

Wilson Kwanya, the Aswa Regional Police Commander, confirmed shots were fired near the barracks and police station.

“Be patient, you will get details. We are still analysing situation,” Kwanya said.

Sources say the raid is believed to be a rescue operation for Uganda People’s Congress party’s National Deputy Secretary for Mobilisation, Dan Oola Odiya who was arrested by police recently over his alleged involvement in subversive activities.

Police on Wednesday intercepted Odiya on Coronation Road in Gulu Town as he walked home at around 8pm.

Patrick Okema, the Aswa Regional Police spokesman, said Oola was arrested “on a very sensitive crime following high-level intelligence”.

What is going on?

About 30 soldiers, among them two officers in-charge of the armoury, a lawmaker, an opposition politician and seven civilians have separately been detained and questioned over their alleged links to an unnamed rebel group.

Capt Ojara, the arms officer (head of armoury) at Bombo Military Barracks, Nakawa Division MP Michael Kabaziguruka and UPDF Entebbe airforce base commander Col Dan Opito Odwe are accused of plotting an uprising against government.

On Tuesday, police arrested seven suspects, among them an FDC village chairman from Aliba Sub-county on grounds that they were behind an alleged rebel recruitment that led to abduction of 23 locals from Yumbe and Moyo districts three weeks ago.

On May 27, 2016, gunmen attacked a UPDF camp in Opit trading center, Lakwana Sub-county Gulu District, killing a soldier and a child in the process.

The assailants also reportedly made away with unspecified number of guns and army uniforms.

The raid according to Lt. Ahmad Hassan Kato, the acting 4th Division UPDF spokesperson in Gulu happened at Opit Local Defense Unit (LDU) detach under the Alpha Battalion, just 30 kilometers out of Gulu town.

Lt. Kato identified the killed Local Defense Unit officer as Ojarra Alfonse and a toddler by names of Okullu Hagai.

This week, an unidentified armed force announced it was planning attacks on government installations in Acholi sub-region in northern Uganda.

According to Santo Okot Lapolo,  the Gulu Resident District Commissioner (RDC), government would repel the criminals.

Guns had gone silence in the region following 20 years of Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army rebel activities that left a number of civilians and security officers dead.

By 2004, the LRA had abducted more than 20,000 children, while 1.5 million civilians had been displaced and an estimated 100,000 civilians killed.

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