Uganda

Uganda: LRA kills 14 in northern weekend ambush

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KAMPALA, 11 Jul 2005 (IRIN) - At least 14 people were killed on Sunday when rebels of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) ambushed them in the district of Kitgum, about 400 km north of the Ugandan capital, Kampala, officials said on Monday.

"A group of rebels ambushed a pick-up vehicle between Potika and Paloga [60 km northwest of Kitgum town]. Fourteen people have been confirmed dead and more than ten were injured," Nahman Ojwee, Kitgum district council chairman, said.

Army spokesman Lt Col Shaban Bantariza said the victims were going to the market in Patika when their vehicle was ambushed and set ablaze. He said the rebels, thought to number about seven, had looted the goods in the vehicle.

The head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Kitgum, Mohammed Siryon, said some of the dead were burnt in the vehicle.

"The victims' bodies were still lying at the scene of the incident 24 hours later," he added.

The 19-year-old war in northern Uganda pits the LRA, led by self-proclaimed mystic Joseph Kony, against the government of President Yoweri Museveni. The brutal conflict has killed tens of thousands and forced some 1.6 million people into internally displaced persons' camps in the north and east.

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