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Uganda's rebels attack Catholic mission


Three teachers were abducted and a pupil killed in an attack by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) on Iceme girls' school in northern Uganda on Monday.

A further 55 were taken after a raid on a nearby primary school.

The LRA has been fighting Mr Museveni's government for 15 years and originally aimed to rule Uganda according to the biblical ten commandments.

These raids once again highlight the failure of the Ugandan army to destroy the rebels in a high-profile security operation earlier this year against their bases in southern Sudan.

One of the teachers later escaped from the rebels, who also attacked the Iceme Catholic Mission station stealing a satellite phone and destroying several vehicles.

The raids by the rebels are latest in a series of attacks which have left more than 30 people dead in recent weeks.

The rebels attacked the headquarters of the Catholic Comboni Missionaries at Iceme early on Monday during morning prayers, according to Fr Ronaldo from the mission.

"Immediately we heard the gunshots, we took cover in the church and lay down. Fortunately, they did not enter the church," he told the New Vision newspaper.

After looting the mission station, the rebels moved on to Iceme Girls' School. The pupils fled from the school in the direction of Lira, 50 km away.

Meanwhile Muslim troops have razed a Catholic mission in Southern Sudan, using its church altar as a kitchen and its bricks to build mosques and military fortifications.

"The mission of Our Lady of Sorrows in Kapoeta, a beautiful church, has been reduced to its foundations," Torit Diocese spokesman Gervasius Okot told the Misna missionary agency.

The Sudanese People's Liberation Army, which has been battling the forces of the Khartoum government, captured the city on 9 June. The National Islamic Front has since seized the mission property, located about 3 kilometers from Kapoeta.

LINKS
LRA rebels loot mission of Iceme (MISNA)
Iceme: Aside from mission, also hospital and school raided in LRA-military clash (MISNA)

SOURCE
BBC/Zenit



10 Jul 2002