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Last Updated: Monday, 16 June, 2003, 12:14 GMT 13:14 UK
Uganda rebels 'torch village'
The LRA use torture to instil fear
Rebels in northern Uganda have attacked a village, killing at least eight people and burning more than 100 huts, the army says.

Those killed were hacked to death with machetes and clubs, said Lieutenant Paddy Ankunda.

The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) is also threatening to kill missionaries, reports the Italian-based Missionary Service News Agency (Misna).

The LRA has been fighting the Ugandan Government for 15 years and claims it wants to rule according to the Biblical Ten Commandments.

No-one in the world has the capacity to deal with a terrorist problem decisively and very quickly because you do not know which will be the next target
Major Shaban Bantariza

They are accused of carrying out widespread atrocities, including cutting of victims ears and lips and abducting children to become fighters and sex slaves.

"They raided after midnight, broke into houses and indiscriminately killed occupants, before setting ablaze over 100 huts," Lieutenant Paddy Ankunda told the French news agency, AFP.

Missionary fear

Army spokesman Major Shaban Bantariza told the BBC Focus on Africa programme that the LRA had probably attacked the village in Apac district to seek revenge for the recent killing of one of their senior officers in the area.

The rebels may also be trying to punish local residents for not supporting them, he said.

Last year, the Ugandan army was given permission to enter Sudan to wipe out the LRA's rear bases there.

But the attacks have continued.

Major Bantariza said the LRA was targeting villages across northern Uganda, making it impossible for the army to stop them.

"The problem is a terrorist problem," he said.

"As we know, no-one in the world has the capacity to deal with a terrorist problem decisively and very quickly because you do not know which will be the next target.

Father Josef Gerner, in charge of the parish in Kitgum (more than 300 miles north of the capital, Kampala) told Misna that he was extremely worried by the LRA threat against missionaries.

"We, as missionaries, are taking them very seriously and do not feel at all that could be interpreted as a joke. Daily violence against civilians in Gulu, Kitgum and Pader (and) Acholi districts make us believe that everything may be really possible," he said.

Major Shaban Bantariza on Focus on Africa
"This is a terrorist problem"

Uganda's atrocious war
12 Jun 03  |  Africa
Rebels club Ugandans to death
05 Jun 03  |  Africa
Uganda child kidnappings soar
28 Mar 03  |  Africa
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05 Mar 03  |  Africa
Top Ugandan army officer sacked
06 Jun 03  |  Africa

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