At least 14 police officers and 41 suspected attackers were confirmed killed in running battles between the two forces that cut across Kasese District in Uganda’s Rwenzori region on Saturday.
Gunfire rocked Kasese Town on Saturday afternoon and went on through the night as security operatives pursued people suspected to be involved in the fresh attacks.
The clashes went on across different parts of the district until late in the evening, leaving a police vehicle burnt in Kagando, in Bukonzo West.
Police spokesperson Andrew Felix Kaweesi told journalists in Kampala on Sunday that more 14 police officers and 41 Rwenzori assailants were killed in the Kasese clashes.
He said two UPDF soldiers were injured on Saturday.
“We believe these attacks have a political motive and have so far arrested 15 key ring leaders. This is not an insurgency but rather a violent crime,” said Mr Kaweesi.
“Yesterday a joint Uganda police and UPDF (army) operation, patrolling in Kasese town… came under attack by royal guards of the kingdom. The attackers threw an improvised grenade which exploded and injured one soldier. Security forces reacted and shot in self-defence, killing four attackers,” said Mr Kaweesi.
“That incident set of an explosion in all local sub-counties.”
Fighting continued all day and was still underway on Sunday, with the King Charles Wesley Mumbere holed up in his palace as heavy gunfire sounded outside, according to his spokesman.
Mr Kaweesi said the attackers — not all of whom were royal guards — had guns, spears and improvised explosive devices.
The Rwenzururu kingdom is a traditional monarchy based near the Rwenzori mountains which straddle Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and its members are mainly the Bakonzo people — also found in both countries. Source