The encounter took place Wednesday, two days after the rebels entered the country through Kitgum district, the newspaper quoted Defense Minister Amama Mbabazi as saying.
"It is true that some of these bandits who were in Sudan have entered Uganda," Mbabazi said.
He said the insurgents, who draw support from the Acholi people in Gulu district, chose to enter through neighboring Kitgum because of heavy troops deployment in the Acholi land.
"We are happier with them here than
in Sudan where they are trained and armed," Mbabazi said. "When
they are here we kill them and many desert." The newspaper said the
rebels recently warned people to leave their villages, which would soon
be turned into battlefields. As a result, most people were spending nights
in the bush, in trading centers or near
military camps, Sunday Vision said.
The government has announced a major offensive against the insurgents, who are led by a former Roman Catholic lay worker, Joseph Kony. Military sources say as many as 12,000 troops are deployed in northern Uganda for a final assault against the rebels.
The insurgents say they want to overthrow President Yoweri Museveni's government and rule Uganda by the Ten Commandments.
The government accuses Sudan of providing the insurgents with materiel and sanctuary, a charge Khartoum denies, saying it it is Uganda which supports southern Sudan rebels.
Uganda broke diplomatic relations with Khartoum over the issue last year.
Copyright 1996. The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.