Priest Among Latest Victims of Rebels in Uganda

KAMPALA, Uganda, SEPT. 3, 2003 ( Twenty-five people including a priest were killed in an ambush in Uganda, signaling the southward movement of rebel-instigated violence, says L’Osservatore Romano.

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The Vatican’s semiofficial newspaper reported today on the latest killings by the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).

Father Lawrence Oyuru, a parish priest of Ocero in the Soroti Diocese, and the other 24 people were killed Tuesday by LRA guerrillas, who have ravaged northern Uganda for more than 15 years, the Italian edition of the paper reported.

The rebels opened fire against a post office van and a car on the road between Soroti and Namasale.

This attack came a few hours after incursions in the neighboring district of Lira and confirmed the constant violence of the rebels led by Joseph Kony in their advance south. With Sudanese backing, Kony is trying to oust the government of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.

The Ugandan regions of Arua, Lira and Gulu are inhabited by the Teso, Kunam, Acholi and Lango ethnic groups, peoples of the Nile who face the threat of annihilation.

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