LRA rebels raid refugee camp in Uganda

Kampala – More than 100 Ugandan rebels attacked a refugee camp in the north of the country and stole food supplies, but the number of casualties was not immediately clear, aid workers and the army said on Saturday.

The raid in Agoro, Kitgum district, by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels was much bigger than their usual attacks, which normally involve just a handful of fighters from the cult-like group.

“This was a major attack involving more than 100 LRA rebels who crossed the border (from southern Sudan),” a senior aid worker said.

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Humanitarian officials said early reports were that two or three people had been killed during the attack early on Saturday.

But the army said there had been no deaths – and that there had only been about 20 attackers.

“My preliminary information is that three people were injured, but that there were no abductions and no killings,” said Lieutenant Tabaro Kiconco, army spokesperson in the north.

He said Ugandan forces were pursuing the rebels.

Both sides in one of Africa’s longest-running conflicts have stepped up attacks in recent months after tentative peace talks stalled in February.

The LRA, which has never given a clear account of its aims, is notorious for massacring civilians, mutilating survivors and kidnapping children to serve as fighters and sex slaves.

In the LRA’s worst recent attack, more than 250 people were shot, hacked and burned to death in Lira district in February, 2004.

Its leader Joseph Kony is thought to be hiding in the lawless mountains of southern Sudan.

Kitgum district, where the latest attack took place, is 450km north of the capital Kampala.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog)
Reuters, via, USA
June 25, 2005

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