Uganda leader says air strike killed fighters of IS-allied rebel group in Congo

FILE PHOTO: Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni speaks during a Reuters interview at his farm in Kisozi settlement of Gomba district, in the Central Region of Uganda, January 16, 2022. Picture taken January 16, 2022. REUTERS/Abubaker Lubowa/File Photo

KAMPALA (Reuters) - Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni said on Saturday an air strike by the east African country's military had killed members of an Islamic State (IS)-allied rebel group including a key person responsible for bomb attacks in Uganda's capital.

The strike was carried out in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo on Sept.16 and intelligence gathered after the strike had confirmed members of group, Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), had been killed, he said.

"A lot of terrorists were killed, including the notorious Meddie Nkalubo, who has been the author of the bombs in Kampala," Museveni said in a statement referring to Uganda's capital.

He did not say how many were killed.

In December 2021 Uganda launched an operation in eastern Congo against ADF but the group still carries out attacks both against civilians and military targets in Congo and Uganda.

In two of the group's most devastating attacks in Uganda, suicide bombings in 2021 outside a major police station in Kampala and near the parliament building left seven people dead.

In June this year 42 people, mostly students, were massacred at a school in Kasese in western Uganda -- another attack Uganda blamed on ADF.

The rebel group is widely believed to seek to establish an Islamic rule in the east African country.

It emerged in the 1990s in Uganda's west but was eventually routed by the military and remnants fled into the jungles of eastern Congo where they have been operating from since then.

ADF almost never send out statements and have not commented on the Ugandan raid.

(Reporting by Elias Biryabarema; editing by Clelia Oziel)

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