Minors Provided Leads to Suspected ADF Hideout in Masaka

The persistent cry of children at night provided leads to the hideout of the suspected Allied Democratic Forces-ADF rebels in Masaka. 

A joint security team comprising the Police Flying Squad Unit-FSU and Police Crime Intelligence burst the suspected ADF cell on Saturday evening and recorded nine guns and an assortment of improvised explosive devices.

The exhibits include a PK-machine gun, a revolver, and seven submachine guns. The weapons were recovered from a rented house in  Kyalugo village, Bugabira parish, Nyendo Mukungwe division on the outskirts of Masaka city. 

According to Police, the house had been turned into a hideout and a coordination cell of Ali Katende, alias Mao; the suspected commander of the criminal gang, which attacked Kyabadaaza Police Station in Butambala district, about a month ago.

Jane Nalubega, the LC I Chairperson of Kyalugo cell says that the alleged cell was discovered following reports from residents who got concerned about children who would regularly cry from the house, especially at night. 

She says the house was home to two men, a woman, and two children aged between three and five years. Nalubega narrates that the occupants, who by her perception looked to be destitute and lacked some basic necessities of life had stayed around for about four months but didnt have any criminal record. 

She, however, notes that in addition to the continuous crying of children who would cause discomfort to the neighbors, some community members also got concerned about how the group was surviving and their sources of livelihood, hence invoking the intervention of the local council leadership.    

Acting on the community suspicions, Nalubega says she asked the village Defense Secretary to start monitoring the movement of the suspects and established that they would spend some days away and often returned with other strange faces.

Patrick Musenzi, one of the neighbors to the alleged ADF hideout indicates that the suspects had told him that they had relocated from Mubende district to Masaka to engage in the grasshopper business.

“They only had a few things in their house, because they regularly told me that they will return to their home area as soon as the grasshopper season expires in January,” he says.

Musenzi wonders why the security team did not use the local community to spy on the suspects such that they could be apprehended.  By the time security raided the home on Saturday night, all suspects were away and have since gone into hiding.

Alfred Bagambaki, the Greater Masaka Regional Police Commander, says that intelligence teams are still in the area to collaborate the information and exhibits to enable them to arrest the criminal gang members. 

He says that the exhibits were recovered from a concealed pit that the suspects had dug in the backyard of the house they were renting. He explains that they have obtained clear leads into the ongoing investigations. 

Bagambaki says that in addition to the tip-off from the community, security has also picked intelligence information from the suspects who were arrested from Kawempe division in connection to the attacks on Maganjo Police Station.   

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