Gunmen shoot dead two in Butambala, torch police station

Investigators comb the scene for evidence

Unknown gunmen have shot dead two people in Kasule Ayanguwa village, Budde sub-county in Butambala district. It is alleged that three men who were riding on a motorcycle stormed the village on Friday night as the residents gathered following the arrest of two suspected cattle thieves.

According to the residents, when they tasked the men to identify themselves, one of them drew a gun and shot dead Ibrahim Kalyango, a senior 4 student from Budde, and Brian Mutebi. The assailants allegedly injured another unidentified woman who was rushed to the hospital.

Mustapha Malimbo, the LC I chairperson of Budde village, said that the attackers proceeded to Kyabadaza police station at around 11:30 pm while the officers were still in the field and rescued two suspected cattle thieves.

Ibrahim Bakayana, a resident said that a gunfire exchange ensued between police officers and the assailants at the station. He said that the attackers later aided the suspects to escape amidst gunfire before they torched the station and riding away. It is alleged that the assailants were all the time communicating on a radio call.

Police confirmed the Friday night incident, saying that they received a disturbance call from the sub-county chairperson, Ali Mwagalayi about two suspected cattle thieves on two motorcycles who were on the verge of being lynched by the community.

Katonga regional police spokesperson, Lydia Tumushabe, said police immediately responded, rescued the two suspected cattle thieves, and took them into custody at Kyabadaza police station.

“Moments after, a group of 3 men on a boda boda motorcycle, reached the scene in the village and started inquiring about what happened. They looked suspicious and the community threatened to arrest them, unaware that they were armed with a gun,” she said in a statement.

She said that the police have deployed personnel to pursue the attackers and bring them to book.   

“These armed assailants proceeded to Kyabadaza and attacked officers on duty. A fire exchange occurred, enabling the suspects to escape including two suspects of cattle theft. Although our officers were not injured and no guns were lost, part of the office was destroyed. At this stage, we haven’t known the motive of the suspects but already our response team are assessing the crime scene,” she said. 

Residents have appealed to authorities to increase the number of security personnel to beef up the safety in the area. The residents say that the police on the roads should be equipped with personnel and equipment to enable them to perform their duties effectively. 

The attack on the police in Butambala district follows a number of other similar attacks that have left police officers killed in Luwero and Jinja districts and Kampala. Government officials have conflicted on the motive behind the attacks with the police blaming the Uganda Coalition for Change rebels while Internal Affairs minister Kahinda Otaffire said the attackers are the same criminal thugs. Recently President Museveni said one of the killed attackers was found in possession of a National Unity Platform (NUP) party card. 

Source: The Observer

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