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Nine perish in Uganda floods, many more ‘feared dead’

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Nine people have lost their lives and many more are feared dead in flooding in the eastern Ugandan city of Mbale after two rivers burst their banks, leaving a trail of destruction, officials said Sunday.

Police and the military have been called in to help in search and rescue operations in Mbale, where stranded residents could only watch helplessly as their belongings were washed away by the floodwaters.

Mbale City resident commissioner Ahamada Waashaki told AFP that nine bodies had been recovered so far, including one of a soldier.

โ€œMany more people are missing and feared dead,โ€ he said.

โ€œPolice and military marine forces will be coming to help in the rescue and search for dead bodies as we provide relief to the affected population,โ€ her office said.

Two local reporters told AFP they had seen bodies floating in the muddy brown floodwaters before being removed by police.

Several cars were also washed away, along with household goods and personal items as residents moved to higher ground for safety.

โ€œIn the past, we experienced flooding but not the level of lives lost and destruction of property seen this time,โ€ Waashaki said.