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Uganda massacre death toll passes 250

Comboni missionary Fr Sebhat Ayele has said that toll of the weekend's Lord's Resistance Army massacre has risen from 220 to 257.

He told the Rome-based MISNA news agency that a UN team is investigating whether there is sufficient security for humanitarian workers to enter the region.

"I counted 121 bodies and the other 52 had already been buried in a mass grave by that time," Fr Sebat Ayala said in an earlier report published in The Age on Monday. "According to the local militia, the rebels started the attack from a distance using artillery fire."

The Eritrean-born priest said the 36 militia guarding the camp of 4800 inhabitants were no match for the 100 or so heavily armed rebels.

There are more than one million displaced in northern Uganda, with people forced to abandon their villages and seek refuge in the so-called 'protected camps' (pictured), where the military claim to guarantee security.

MISNA says the often fail and the rebels are free to strike out at the civilians, as occurred at the weekend.

Barlonyo Massacre: Death toll rises to over 250 (MISNA 24/2/04)

Priest tells of massacre at refugee camp (The Age 24/2/04)
Uganda rebels kill 190 refugees (The Guardian 23/2/04)
Ugandan rebels carry out village massacre (The Independent 23/2/04)
New rebel massacre in Ugandan refugee camp (Catholic World News 23/2/04)
More than 170 killed in rebel attack on camp for displaced Ugandans (Catholic News Service 23/2/04)
Catholic priest rebuts charge he supports Uganda Lords Resistance Army (Ecumenical News International 24/2/04)

25 Feb 2004