Ugandan Villages Attacked; Dozens Kidnapped

Rebels Reportedly Terrifying Civilians

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GULU, Uganda, JUNE 29, 2003 ( Rebels of the Lord’s Resistance Army attacked villages near the town of Barr inhabited by the Lango ethnic group and carried off dozens of captives, the Misna missionary agency reported.

The Friday night raid, carried out by several hundred armed men, started in the village of Ayira, near Barr, and lasted three hours. At least four people were killed; one was decapitated and mutilated.

Aside from ransacking the villages of the area, 30 huts were set on fire and 40 people were abducted, mostly young girls and boys, survivors told Misna.

The Olum, as the rebels are called in Acholi by the people, beat numerous individuals, including elderly villagers.

At the same time, the rebels attacked other villages of the district of Lira. Near the Catholic mission of Aloi, 34 kilometers (21 miles) east of Lira, they killed six Lango civilians, while in Olilim (70 kilometers east of Lira) they killed another four of the same ethnic group.

Last Monday night, at least 200 people — most of them young boys and girls — were abducted by LRA rebels in the northern Ugandan region inhabited by the Teso and Kumam ethnic groups.

The kidnappings occurred the Catholic Lwala Girls Senior Secondary School, in the Kaberamaido district, 40 kilometers (25 miles) northwest of Soroti. Eighty girls were forced to follow the rebels, who later raided the surrounding villages, taking hostage another 120 people.

A 70-year-old Dutch missionary, of the local parish run by the Mill Hill missionaries, was also a victim of the raid. Although beaten, he was able to reach safety, religious sources reported. Three schoolgirls also managed to escape from the rebels, who are supported by the Khartoum government.

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