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01 Sep 2003 10:00
Ugandan insurgents killed 22 civilians and abducted an unknown number at the weekend in the northern and north-eastern regions of the country, officials said on Monday.
The Lords Resistance Army (LRA) on Sunday killed eight people after marching them from a suburb of the district town of Soroti, about 350km north-east of the Ugandan capital Kampala, the army spokesperson said.
“It is true, they were killed, but there were no abductions known to the army,” spokesperson Major Shaban Bantariza told Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa), via telephone on Monday.
The LRA early last month moved into Soroti and three other adjoining north eastern districts after moving south-eastwards all the way from the northern region, where they have been fighting a rebellion for more than 16 years.
Their routine involves the killing and abduction of civilians, mostly youths whom they force to join their war, which has displaced over 800 000 people from their homes.
The attack on Soroti occurred as President Yoweri Museveni was camped in the town to oversee an army operation against the LRA.
In a related development, the guerillas on Friday killed 14 people and abducted an unknown number of others in Okwaga village in the northern district of Lira, about 330km from Kampala, a member of parliament for the area, Daniel Omara Atubo, said on Monday.
“Okwaga is a big trading centre for the displaced people.
The people were taken from the camp, matched north-eastwards and then hacked to death.
They went with many others, but we do not know the number,” he said on telephone.
Bantariza confirmed the killings at Okwaga, but put the number of the killings at 11 saying, “the information I have is that 11 people were abducted and killed by the roving rebels,” he said.—Sapa-DPA
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