Thriller shrouds raid on Gaddafi Barracks

The death of a Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) soldier in Jinja City remains shrouded in mystery as conflicting reports emerge of the manner in which he was killed.

Sgt Simon Peter Eyagu, 45, attached to the Non-Commissioned Officers’ Academy (NCOA) at Gaddafi Barracks, was on Thursday night attacked and killed by unknown assailants who fled with two guns, including that of his colleague, who has since been taken into custody. 
In a statement, the UPDF identified the soldier in custody as L/Cpl Norico Kibirige. It added that “the attack on our guards will meet the necessary retaliation.” 

Multiple accounts suggest that the incident happened between 9pm and 9.30pm. Mr Drake Tusiime, a herdsman and resident of the area, said he was heading to Amber Court when he received a call notifying him of an incident at the mini-checkpoint to Gaddafi Barracks. His friend informed him “that a UPDF officer had been killed and that accessing that route would be difficult.” Mr Tusiime was advised “to manoeuvre through the expansive maize garden that surrounds the barracks.”

While initial reports suggest that Sgt Eyagu was fatally shot, a senior source within the UPDF ranks, quoting a Lieutenant who visited the scene, said the deceased was strangled and had both of his legs broken. 
“There were two at some guard point at the small gate that leads to Amber Court,” the source revealed, adding, “The colleague got an excuse to go home, either to get something to eat or to answer a nature’s call and left his gun behind.”
The source proceeded to tell Saturday Monitor that whereas two live bullets were dropped at the crime scene, the assailants are believed not to have fired “a single bullet.” They simply “sneaked up on their victim” and caught him unawares.
According to our source, when the deceased’s colleague returned to the mini-checkpoint and found his colleague dead, he raised an alarm that drew several other colleagues to the scene.

Maj Kenneth Karokola, the Cantonment Intelligence Officer at Gaddafi Barracks, confirmed the incident, but declined to divulge details. 
“It is true it (the killing) happened. I can’t deny that, but wait for official information because I don’t want to give half-baked information,” he said in a terse response.
Our source’s account of the raid—which we couldn’t independently corroborate—runs counter to what both the UPDF and police publicly divulged yesterday. The UPDF confirmed “an attack … on our soldiers guarding at Amber Court Road close to Gaddafi barracks at 20.50hrs, leading to the death by strangling and shooting of RA/110575 Sgt Simon Peter Eyagu.”

In a statement, the police on its part described the incident as “another senseless attack.” The Force added that the joint security agencies are actively investigating the matter.
“They attacked the guard, stabbed him in the chest and also shot him thrice, killing him instantly … The second UPDF guard, who left his beat at the mini-checkpoint, is also arrested for further interrogation,” the Police statement reads in part.

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