Police have confirmed that two of its officers and a Uganda People Defense Force (UPDF) soldier, were injured on Sunday evening following a fierce shootout with gunmen who attempted to raid Gulu Central Police Station.
Heavy sporadic gunfire erupted in the heart of Gulu Municipality at about 9:00pm lasting over 30 minutes bringing business in the bustling municipality to standstill as locals scampered for safety.
Police Spokesperson Fred Enanga confirmed the development to Daily Monitor on Sunday night.
“ One UPDF soldier was killed, 4 others injured and a few civilians. We thus mourn the death of our comrade,” Gen Kayihura, the Inspector General of Police told journalists on Monday.
He said the criminals left behind six AK 47s, 12 rounds of ammunition, a bow and 8 arrows among other weapons.
Gen Kayihura said: "Despite the attacks, we wish to assure all Ugandans that the country is stable. Avoid the 'Social media rumours."
Gen Kayihura distanced the attack from the recent arrests of Forum for Democratic Change politicians.
“Based on what we, have, it’s a gang that tried to obstruct the course of justice. If it’s something bigger, we shall tell you,” he said.
He said politicians who are linked to any crime would be arrested like any other suspected individuals.
“MPs also are also vulnerable to committing crime. There is Godi Akber who killed his wife. He was a sitting MP. Kipoi Nsubuga who run in Congo was involved in drug trafficking and other crime. Therefore, arresting Michael Kabaziguruka [MP Nakawa] to help us with investigations is normal,” he said.
He, however, didn't disclose the identities of the injured security officers but noted that they were shot at while repulsing gunmen who wanted to rescue Uganda People's congress party National Deputy Mobilizer also UPC spokesperson for Acholi Sub-region Dan Oola Odiya, from Gulu Central Police Station, where he’s being detained.
The UPC Stalwart was arrested by police on Wednesday in Gulu Municipality on allegations of being linked to last month's raid at UPDF detach in Opit Trading Centre, Lakwana Sub county, Gulu District. The raid left a UPDF soldier Alfonse Ojara 56, and a five year old boy dead while eight guns and unspecified amount of ammunition seized.
"We are glad that our officers managed to repulse the attackers before they could succeed to free Mr Odiya. We had earlier received intelligence reports of an eminent attack and deployed heavily," Mr Enanga said.
Mr Enanga added that Mr Odiya who was due to appear in court today on Monday.
“Our officers are still pursuing the attackers; we want to find out who they are and whether they suffered causalities. We have got intelligence reports the place is calm and people should not panic,” Mr Enanga said.
Following the attack, the UPDF spokesperson Col Paddy Ankunda, twitted that that security personnel in the district recovered five riffles plus one machine gun from the attackers.
In another tweet, Col Ankunda stated that the attackers abandoned a pickup vehicle, a Pajero car and three motorcycles after they were defeated by the joint operation of the UPDF and the Police.
Following the night shoot out, normalcy has returned to Gulu Municipality and residents have resumed business. The attack has however, left many residents in panic and evoked the two decades Lord’s Resistance Army Rebel insurgencies in the region that displaced 1.5 million people and tens of thousands lost their lives.