KAMPALA, July 14 (Reuters) – Ugandan rebels killed at least two soldiers in an ambush in the remote north of the country, the army and local officials said on Thursday.
“Two soldiers were killed and three injured on Saturday (July 9) in Pader district, on the road south of Kalongo,” said Captain Paddy Ankunda, army spokesman for northern Uganda.
A United Nations official and a local member of parliament told Reuters as many as five troops had been killed, their uniforms and guns stolen and their patrol vehicle burned by the rebels, but there was no immediate confirmation of this.
Uganda’s army has seldom confirmed losses during 19 years of war against the cult-like Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). About 1.6 million people have been uprooted by the fighting, creating one of the world’s worst humanitarian emergencies.
The brutal LRA has never given a clear account of its aims beyond opposition to the government, and both sides stepped up attacks after tentative peace talks stalled earlier this year.
Aid workers said on Thursday the death toll had risen to 22 following a rebel ambush that targeted villagers going to market on Sunday in neighbouring Kitgum district.
Kitgum is 450 km (280 miles) north of the capital.