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Uganda 'strikes LRA rebel camps'

Joseph Kony (photo: November 2006)
Joseph Kony's force has spread terror across the region

The Ugandan government says it has destroyed more than 70% of camps run by Lord's Resistance Army rebels in a remote region of northern DR Congo.

A joint offensive was launched by Ugandan, Southern Sudanese and Congolese forces against the rebels in mid-December, after peace talks failed.

Observers say the rebels, led by Joseph Kony, have managed to evade military operations in the past.

The LRA are blamed for abducting children and forcing millions to flee.

The BBC's Martin Plaut says that as jets went overhead to bomb the LRA camps, local people in the Congolese town of Duru came out and cheered.

Countries from Uganda to the Central African Republic have suffered 20 years of terror inflicted by the LRA.

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Our correspondent says that Joseph Kony's force is relatively small - about 650 strong - but the difficulty is that when it is hit, it scatters then regroups.

Last week, the UN envoy trying to end Uganda's long-running conflict, Joachim Chissano, said he backed the offensive against the rebels.

Mr Chissano said the aim of the operation was to force the LRA leader to sign a peace deal, which he has so far failed to do.

He urged the UN Security Council to support the action by Uganda, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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