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Tuesday, August 17, 1999 Published at 16:31 GMT 17:31 UK

World: Africa

Namibian forces kill doctor in Caprivi

A Namibian doctor has been shot dead by security forces patrolling the tense region of Caprivi, in the north-east of the country.

Lukas Ilonga, aged 35, was killed on Monday night at a hospital in the town of Katima Mulilo, according to South African radio.

The Caprivi Strip has been under a state of emergency since secessionist rebels launched an attack on Katima Mulilo on August 2.

The shooting of the doctor has been condemned by the Windhoek-based National Society for Human Rights.

"The behaviour of security forces in Caprivi is ... morally and legally reprehensible," it said.

Last week, the Namibian Government admitted that some of its security forces had been involved in human rights abuses in the Caprivi following allegations that suspected secessionists had been arrested and beaten.

Emotions running high

Defence Minister Erkki Nghimtina told The Namibian newspaper about 100 people had been arrested including alleged rebels believed to have attacked an army base, police station and regional radio station.

He said the majority of human rights violations took place in the first few days after the attack, when emotions were running high.

Unrest in the Caprivi Strip has been simmering for months.

Late last year several hundred alleged secessionists crossed the border into Botswana, after the Namibian authorities said they had discovered a secret training camp.

The leader of the secessionists, Mishake Myongo, who is now in exile in Denmark, has described this month's raid as "just the beginning" of the struggle for independence.

He said that since Namibian independence in 1990, the Caprivi Strip had suffered rising unemployment and crumbling infrastructure.

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