- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 2, 2004

KAMPALA, Uganda (Agence France-Presse) — At least 166 persons — 55 civilians, 105 rebels and six government soldiers — were killed in May during battles with Lord’s Resistance Army rebels in northern Uganda, the army reports.

“We lost six soldiers and nine injured during the same month, while at least 55 civilians were killed by the rebels in different parts of the region. Our forces killed 105 rebels,” Lt. Paddy Ankunda said from Gulu on Tuesday, quoting the army’s monthly report.

He mentioned particularly an attack on the Pagaka refugee camp, where 23 civilians were killed May 17, and 26 killed at Lokodi on May 20, both in Gulu district, although aid agencies put the death toll in Lokodi at 42.

During operations in the region, 144 kidnapping victims, mainly children, were rescued, while 51 rebels, including 11 commanders, surrendered to the army. “We recovered 53 submachine guns and over 2,000 rounds of ammunition,” Lt. Ankunda said.

The Lord’s Resistance Army has been fighting government forces in northern Uganda since 1988 to replace President Yoweri Museveni’s secular government with one based on the biblical Ten Commandments.

But the rebels’ brutality characterizes their violent campaign, which has sent more than 1.5 million people fleeing from their homes. The rebels use children they kidnap from villages to swell their ranks and capture girls as sex slaves for rebel commanders.

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