Remains of fallen UPDF soldiers brought home

A plane carrying the bodies of the Uganda People’s Defence Force [UPDF] soldiers who were killed in Somalia touched down at Entebbe Airbase Wednesday afternoon.

Relatives the fallen soldiers who had waited at the airbase since morning, burst into tears on seeing the plane.

The national army’s flag was flying half-mast in respect to the deceased.

UPDF officers also lined up in a single file to salute and receive the bodies their comrades.

Lt. General Wilson Mbadi, the deputy Chief of Defence Forces headed the military delegation that received the remains.

The bodies of UPDF soldiers were then offloaded from the Airplane in front of the relatives of the deceased so as to proceed with the burial arrangements.

In his tribute to the deceased, Retired Colonel Shaban Bantariza wondered where Uganda and the region be without the sacrifice of UPDF.

UPDF said 12 soldiers died on Sunday morning when militant al Shabaab fighters ambushed African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) troops.

The incident took place at Gorowen town between Bulumaler and Beladamini in Lower Shabelle region, about 140kms South West of Mogadishu.

A military source who preferred to remain unnamed told Uganda Radio Network that the UPDF lost 21 soldiers in action and nine others are seriously injured.

Another 25 soldiers returned to the UPDF base alive while two are still missing, according to the source.

The Somali militants said they had killed over 39 Amisom soldiers.

Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab’s military operation spokesman, told Reuters: “We have in hand 39 dead bodies of AU soldiers including their commander.”