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Child who survived school massacre recounts gruesome action to hide from gunmen

A student who survived the deadly massacre at a school in Uganda described how he covered himself in blood to hide during an Islamist rebel group’s attack. 

“I smeared the blood of my dead colleagues in my mouth, ears and on my head so that the attackers would think I was dead,” Julius Isingoma told the BBC

“I lay next to the bloodied bodies of my friends and thought very fast. Then I smeared a lot of blood into my ears, mouth and on my head and when the militants came, they checked my hand for a pulse and left,” he added.

Five members of the Allied Democratic Forces, an Islamist extremist group with ties to ISIS, allegedly carried out the attack over the weekend. The Ugandan military said the group abducted at least six other people and took them over the border into Congo. 

Isingoma did not identify the attackers but described them as gun-wielding men. He was in the boys’ dormitory during the attack. 

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A sign of the Lhubiriha Secondary School in Mpondwe, Uganda

This image made from video shows the sign of the Lhubiriha Secondary School following an attack on the school near the border with Congo, in Mpondwe, Uganda, Saturday, June 17, 2023. Ugandan authorities recovered the bodies of dozens of people including students who were burned, shot or hacked to death after suspected rebels attacked the school, the local mayor said Saturday, June 17, 2023. (AP Photo)

Students locked the door once they realized the attack had started and their lives were in danger.

In this image made from video, people make their way towards the Lhubiriha Secondary School following an attack on the school near the border with Congo, in Mpondwe, Uganda, Saturday, June 17, 2023. Ugandan authorities recovered the bodies of dozens of people including students who were burned, shot or hacked to death after suspected rebels attacked the school, the local mayor said Saturday. (AP Photo)

When he came down, he fell to the ground and made a noise, which alerted the militants to the fact someone was still in the room. It was that point Isingoma started to cover himself with blood. 

Another boy, Godwin Mumbere, was in the same dorm as Isingoma and managed to survive by hiding under a bed. When his friends were killed and fell on top of him, the attackers thought he, also, had died. 

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