Vigilante groups in Ocwig Village, Merok parish, Katine Sub-county in Soroti Municipality at the weekend lynched four suspected cattle thieves.
The deceased were accused of stealing eight cows belonging to Ms Agnes Atayo, a resident, on Friday.
According to Mr Michael Emigu Erojo, LC3 chairperson, the suspects had returned the following day to steal more cows from another resident, but fell into the hands of vigilante groups.
“The angry people took the law in their hands, they managed to put four of the thieves out of action,” Mr Emigu said.
He said the locals also torched the car that suspects had used.
Mr Emigu said the bodies were taken to Soroti mortuary, and two of them were claimed by the relatives. He identified two of the deceased as Bernard Omara and Robert Ayo from Dokolo District.
The regional police commander for East Kyoga, Mr Moses Mwanga, said this was the second time that a vehicle was set ablaze by the vigilant villagers, after another incident in Ngariam Sub-county, Katakwi District last year.
He appealed to residents to be so security conscious without taking the law to their own hands.
Mr Salim Komaketch, the Soroti Resident District Commissioner, appealed to communities to always report suspects to police so that they are arrested.
Teso Sub-region has witnessed cattle raids since 1970s when Karimojong warriors started having access to automated weapons and locally-made arrows, which they have continued to use for raids.
Despite government’s disarmament exercise in Karamoja between 2001 and 2010, cattle raids resumed two years ago in both sub-regions. The UPDF has on several occasions carried out operations to recover the stolen animals and guns.