British couple on honeymoon killed in horror IS-linked terror attack
Heartfelt tributes have been paid to a newlywed couple killed in a “terrorist” attack on their car in a park in Uganda – with the warden of their parish church describing the news as “incomprehensible”.
David Barlow, South Africa-born wife Celia and their Ugandan guide were driving through the Queen Elizabeth National Park on Tuesday when they were attacked and killed by rebels with links to the Islamic State.
The couple, from Hampstead Norreys, close to Newbury in Berkshire, were married in South Africa on Saturday and had been visiting Uganda on their honeymoon, locals have said.
Mr Barlow was the former chairman of Hampstead Norreys Parish Council.
Richard Davies, warden at St Mary’s Church in the village, where candles were lit following the attack, calling the tragedy “incomprehensible”.
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He added: “They will be dreadfully missed. Dave was brought up nearby and lived around here most of his life.
“He was one of those people who is a huge part of the community, he’s very well-liked, involved in sports clubs, involved in all aspects of village life.”
Mr Barlow ran a wood yard in nearby Hermitage and was also chairman of the local cricket club.
Dozens of people from the village, which has a population 800, travelled to the wedding ceremony.
Parish council member Toby Harris said: “David was a very genuine person, he would say what he was thinking, he was very funny, with a great sense of humour and a genuinely nice bloke.
“I spent a lot of time bumping into him at the pub for a beer or two. He was approachable and down-to-earth.
“I only met Celia once for around half an hour, she was friendly and welcoming, a really nice person.
“They were well-thought-of by people here, members of the community travelled to be at their wedding, which shows how popular he was.”
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Hampstead Norreys Cricket Club also paid tribute to the couple, affectionately referring to Mr Barlow as “Lord Barlow”.
It said: “He was at the time this incident occurred with the most important person in his life, a woman who we all knew so well, as Dave was so proud to share all of Celia’s achievements.
“She too was an amazing human being, who will be desperately missed.”
Pictures taken at the scene showed the vehicle in flames, having apparently been set on fire by the killers after the fatal attack.
Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni said on social media: “It was a cowardly act on the part of the terrorists attacking innocent civilians and tragic for the couple who were newlyweds and visiting Uganda on their honeymoon. Of course, these terrorists will pay with their own wretched lives.”
Ugandan police and the president have said the killers were members of the Allied Democratic Forces, a group with ties to IS.
Queen Elizabeth National Park, in the south west of Uganda, is one of its most popular conservation areas and attacks in such parks are said to be uncommon.
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Ugandan troops are pursuing members of the group in the nearby Congo.
In his social media post, the president added: “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.
“Our High Commission in the UK will reach out to their families and provide whatever support is necessary in this tragic situation.”
He added that Ugandan authorities will ensure these “mistakes” will not happen again and explained how remnants of the rebel group were able to carry out the attack at the wildlife park.
“There were a few gaps in the handling of these remnants. UWA (Uganda Wildlife Authority) was guarding tourists once they were in the park. However, apparently, the tourists were arriving and departing individually. It is this gap that they used,” he wrote on social media.
He said the rebels would be defeated like the Ugandan militant Joseph Kony, who terrorised the country under the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), recognised as a terrorist group by the European Union.
Following the attack, the UK Foreign Office updated its travel advice for Uganda, warning against “all but essential travel” to Queen Elizabeth National Park.
A statement on its website said: “If you are currently in the park, you should follow the advice of local security authorities. If you are able to do so safely, you should consider leaving the area.”
Andrew Mitchell, the UK minister of state for development and Africa, said on social media: “I am shocked and saddened by the horrific attack in Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda. My thoughts are with the victims and their families.
“British nationals in Uganda should follow travel advice.”
Posting on Facebook, Laura Farris, the Tory MP for Newbury in Berkshire, said it was “an appalling and tragic case”.
She continued: “I have written to the Foreign Secretary today asking the Government to give its full support to the Ugandan authorities in bringing the perpetrators to justice.”
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