Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni says security forces are on the trail of an ISIS-linked rebel group blamed for the killing of two foreign newlyweds celebrating their honeymoon at a popular tourist destination in the country.
The couple was killed Tuesday alongside their local safari guide at the Queen Elizabeth National Park in southwestern Uganda, police said, adding that the victims’ vehicle was also set ablaze by their killers.
Uganda’s Wildlife Authority said the newlyweds were British and South African nationals but did not provide their names. It added that the national park was “safe and secure” for visitors despite the tragedy.
President Museveni, who described the killing as “a cowardly act”, said the ADF rebels were fleeing a Ugandan military operation when they spotted and killed the tourists Tuesday evening.
“These terrorists will pay with their own wretched lives,” Museveni said in a statement Wednesday.
“However, killing these wretched individuals will not bring back the lives of these wonderful friends of Uganda who had chosen our country for their honeymoon out of the 193 countries of the world,” he added.
“Our High Commission in the UK will reach out to their families and provide whatever support is necessary in this tragic situation,” the president further said.
Following the killing, Britain’s foreign office warned UK nationals to avoid nonessential travel to Queen Elizabeth National Park.
In an updated travel advice on Wednesday, the UK’s foreign office further advised against trips to Semuliki National Park, also located in western Uganda “and the area immediately southwest of Kasese.”
Kasese was the scene of a brutal ADF attack in June when its fighters invaded a school, killing dozens of students, some as young as 12.
The Ugandan military has struggled to restrain the ADF from carrying out deadly attacks in the densely populated East African nation.
On Sunday, Museveni said police foiled an attempt by the ADF to bomb churches in central Uganda’s Butambala district.
According to Museveni, Uganda’s security forces are on the verge of “wiping out” the ADF despite attempts by the group to “commit some random terrorist acts.”