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Ugandan Rebels Kill 170 in Camp Raid - 2004-02-22


Suspected rebels in Uganda have attacked a refugee camp in the northern part of the country, killing at least 170 people.

Authorities and witnesses say members of the country's main rebel group, the Lord's Resistance Army, massacred civilians late Saturday in a camp in the Lira district, about 25 kilometers north of Lira town.

A Roman Catholic missionary who visited the camp Sunday counted 121 bodies and said another 51 victims had already been buried. The camp reportedly had been home to about 5,000 Ugandans displaced by political violence.

Witnesses say the rebels burned the refugees' grass-roofed huts and shot civilians as they tried to flee.

Many people burned to death in their huts, and scores of others reportedly were hospitalized with severe burn injuries.

Earlier this month, Lord's Resistance Army rebels killed about 50 people during an attack on a refugee camp north of the Ugandan capital, Kampala. The group has waged a 17-year insurgency in northern Uganda, aimed at overthrowing the government and replacing it with an administration based on the Ten Commandments of the Bible.

The rebels are known for brutal attacks on civilians. In their ambush raids on refugee camps they have abducted children for use as sex slaves and fighters.

Some information for this report provided by AP, Reuters and AFP.

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