10 Cattle Rustlers killed, two UPDF soldiers injured in Karamoja

Ten Karimojong cattle rustlers have been confirmed dead and two UPDF soldiers are critically injured after a clash in Kaabong.

The incident that took place at Kalapata sub-county in Kaabong district on Tuesday night was the deadliest clash in the region in recent weeks.

Jino Meri the district chairperson of Kaabong said nine rustlers were killed at the protected Kraal in Kalapata sub county while another one was killed on the way as they were driving animals, making the total of ten killed.

He said the rustlers were many in number and they managed to drive away over 700 head of cattle.

“The warriors were many in number and they were wearing the LDUs uniform yet the LDUs have all been withdrawn from Karamoja and for a training so we are surprised where they got the uniforms,” he said.

According to Meri, the army tried to use the helicopters to carry the soldiers but failed to land down with the soldiers due to mountainous terrain since the rustlers had crossed with cows to the side and escaped to Kenya.

He also noted that the two soldiers who are injured are currently getting treatment at Kaabong district hospital.

Peter Lemukol a resident of Kalapata sub county said the soldiers and the warriors had a gun fight for about one and half hours.

“This was a deadly fight between the army and these rusttlers because the rustlers attacked the kraal at about 10pm and had contact with the army up to around 12.00 am,” he said.

According Lemukol, the bodies  of the killed rustlers have remained in the bush without no one to claim them.

Samson Lokeris, the former member of parliament for Dodoth East said much as governmnet is carrying out disarmament exercise in Karamoja, there’s a need to do a restructuring of commanders on the ground,  saying they have failed to be effective.

“What is important is that much as disarmament is taking place, there is a need to put priority to protect people’s property against the armed rustlers and also restructuring the commanders and bringing others who are still fresh,” he said.

Capt Chris Mike Okiria, the resident district commissioner Kaabong  who doubles as chairperson of Kaabong  district security committee, confirmed the raid took place saying the army has already surrounded the hills where the rustlers are hiding animals.

The army officials were not readily available to comment on the incident  as they were still running up and down to track down the rusttlers.

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