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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 October 2005, 11:28 GMT 12:28 UK
Uganda rebels in daylight ambush
Ugandan soldiers guarding civilians in a truck in northern Uganda
Northern Ugandans live in constant fear of attacks
Four people were killed in a rare afternoon ambush on a civilian pick-up truck in north east Uganda by Lords Resistance Army rebels, officials say.

The rebels are suspected of shooting the driver and two passengers, and killing a fourth with an axe.

The LRA continues to target civilians despite being weakened by more than three years of military pressure.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Republic of Congo has warned Uganda not to try to disarm an LRA force in its territory.

DR Congo's United Nations ambassador, Atoki Ileka, told the UN Security Council that such an intervention into its eastern jungles would pose a threat to international peace and security.

In 1998, Uganda was one of several countries to become embroiled in DR Congo's five-year civil war in which an estimated three million people were killed.

Pregnant mother survives

The BBC's Will Ross in the capital, Kampala, says one o'clock in the afternoon is considered to be one of the safer times to travel on the dirt roads in the isolated areas of northern Uganda.

Survivors of the ambush on Monday say the vehicle, which was heading from Kitgum town to Orom in the north east, came under heavy gunfire and then caught fire.

Several wounded people were taken to hospital in Kitgum town where they are being treated for gunshot wounds.

Amongst them a pregnant mother who had a lucky escape - she was shot in the stomach but both the mother and the unborn baby survived.

In recent days, our correspondent says, hundreds of people fled their homes after suspected LRA rebels burnt down up to 200 huts in the east of Uganda in Teso region - an area which has been relatively free from LRA attacks for almost two years.

Last Thursday four farmers were killed near Palenga in Gulu district - their bodies hacked with machetes.

People in northern Uganda wish more rebels would turn themselves in - to see security improve and more reunions between formerly abducted children and their families.

Sanctions

Some 450km away in the north-east of the DR Congo another group of the LRA continues to keep the Ugandan military busy.

Ugandan soldier
Not only soldiers and police carry weapons in Kampala

Trucks full of soldiers and military hardware have been moved to the Congolese border.

The army says this is a precautionary measure to prevent LRA rebels who recently crossed into DR Congo from attacking Ugandan civilians.

Last week, Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni said if the Congolese authorities failed to disarm LRA members, the Ugandan army would enter neighbouring Congo to do so.

Mr Ileka asked the Security Council to impose sanctions on Uganda including an arms embargo and the suspension of international aid.

The UN mission in DR Congo has said it intends to use all means necessary to drive out the LRA group.




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