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Wednesday, 7 August, 2002, 17:39 GMT 18:39 UK
Ugandan rebels 'killed after attack'
Ugandan army tank
The army has failed to halt rebel attacks
At least 15 rebels were killed in northern Uganda on Tuesday when they attacked two army units, an army spokesman has said.

The army spokesman, Major Shaban Bantariza told the AFP news agency that the rebels were suspected members of the Lord's Resistance Army.

The latest attacks come just days after a group of around 200 LRA fighters attacked a camp for Sudanese refugees, leaving up to 55 people dead.

The LRA has been fighting the government for 16 years and says it is fighting to rule Uganda according to the Biblical Ten Commandments.

The latest raid comes only three days after the Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, moved to the north of the country to take charge of operations against the rebels.

The camp at Acholi-Pii is now safe, according to the army, but the United Nations refugee agency is planning to move the refugees to the central area of Masindi, which it believes to be more secure.

Nine rebels had been killed in an attack on a military unit in Kalong, in the northern Kitgum district, Major Bantariza said.

A few hours earlier, six had been killed in a raid on a military unit at Chwero, on the road leading north from the regional capital, Gulu.

'High' casualties

On Tuesday, the bodies of another 30 Sudanese refugees were found in the bush near the camp.

Ugandan soldier
The Ugandan army has entered Sudan to hunt the LRA

Bushra Malik, a spokeswoman for the UN refugee agency told AP that she was not sure exactly how many people had died but said she expected the final figure to be "high".

Earlier this year, the Ugandan army was given permission to enter Sudanese territory to wipe out the rebels.

However "Operation Iron Fist" has driven them further into Uganda, where they have intensified their operations.

On Wednesday, a man claiming to be an LRA commander, Brigadier Tolbert Yardin Nyeko, told the Monitor newspaper that the rebels had killed 238 government troops since entering Uganda from Sudan in June.

This claim was strongly denied by Major Bantariza.

President Museveni has given permission for religious leaders to try and negotiate with the rebel group.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Ben Dotsei Malor iv Tim Bishop for Focus on Africa
"Our staff included one doctor and three logistics workers"

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25 Jul 02 | Africa
15 Jul 02 | Africa
10 Jul 02 | Africa
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