The remains of the 12 gallant Ugandan soldiers killed on mission in Somalia are flown back home.
Family members of the gallant soldiers couldn't help but break down as the country's heroes were flown back. (Photo credit: Roderick Ahimbazwe)
DEATH | UPDF
ENTEBBE - The bodies of the Uganda People's Defence Force (UPDF) soldiers killed in the line of duty in Somalia on Sunday were flown back home Wednesday afternoon.
The plane carrying the remains of the 12 fallen soldiers killed on mission in Mogadishu touched down at the military airbase in Entebbe at around 2.35pm local time.
They were received by deputy Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) Lt. Gen. Wilson Mbasu Mbadi.
The UPDF flag was flown at half-mast in mourning of the beloved countrymen as the UPDF band played moving tunes.
A cloud of gloom hang heavily over the airbase as the bodies, carried in Uganda flag-draped freezers, were delicately loaded off the plane and placed on top of trolleys by army officers.
A country in mourning of its gallant soldiers watched on local television as the 12 bodies were trolleyed on the tarmac onto awaiting UPDF funeral vans before being driven off to Bombo Military Hospital.
Families of the departed soldiers were at the airbase to see their fallen loved ones back home. Understandably, most of them couldn't hold back the tears.
It was an emotional affair. Many broke down.
The 12 UPDF soldiers under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) were killed at the weekend in a brutal ambush on the troops by Al-Shabaab militants.
The militant group claimed that they executed the attack on a joint SNA/AMISOM UPDF patrol under 7th Battalion of Battle group twenty at Goryowein between Bulumaler and Beladamini in Lower Shabelle region about 140km South West of Mogadishu.
Meanwhile, an inquiry into the circumstances that led to Sunday’s attack was launched.
UPDF spokesperson Brig. Richard Karemire said the probe would examine compensation claims for the victims, including the fallen soldiers.
It was raw emotion on a sombre Wednesday afternoon
It was not the way the families of the departed soldiers had wanted to see their loved ones return. Not lifeless
But such was the case. A heartbreaking homecoming. Families were inconsolable . . . understandably so
Most of these men in battle were the sole breadwinners of their families
Such was the kind of aura at the military airbase on a dark day. A day of mourning. A country in mourning
The UPDF has said they will continue with operations in Somalia
The force is already working out ways of how they will compensate the victims, including the families of the fallen soldiers
They lived by the gun and died by the gun. Fare thee well gallant countrymen!
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