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Ugandan rebels attack Congo town, 50,000 flee - UN

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KINSHASA, Nov 1 (Reuters) - Ugandan Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels raided a town in northern Congo on Saturday in an attack that killed nine people and forced around 50,000 to flee, the United Nations and aid agencies said.

Between 30 and 50 LRA fighters attacked the town of Dungu, near Democratic Republic of Congo's northern border with Sudan, before dawn.

Fighting between the Ugandan rebels and Congolese government soldiers continued into the early afternoon, a spokesman for Congo's U.N. peacekeeping mission, MONUC, told Reuters.

"Around 50,000 people are trying to leave the town. The LRA have already pulled back. They left behind nine bodies," spokesman Madnodje Mounoubai said.

The LRA attack on Dungu was separate from the conflict in eastern North Kivu province, where a Tutsi rebel offensive this week has displaced tens of thousands of civilians.

Though it has been driven out of Uganda, the LRA remains active in south Sudan, Central African Republic, and Congo, where the bulk of its force is believed to be based.

LRA fighters killed at least 52 people, and abducted another 159 children and 10 adults during attacks in northern Congo in September, U.N. peacekeepers said.

The Ugandan rebels have attacked several northern Congo villages in recent weeks to loot and pillage. (For full Reuters Africa coverage and to have your say on the top issues, visit: http://africa.reuters.com/)

(Reporting by Joe Bavier; Editing by Pascal Fletcher/Keith Weir)

Reuters - Thomson Reuters Foundation
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