Ugandan massacre leaves 170 dead

Up to 170 civilians have been massacred at a refugee camp in northern Uganda, according to sources.

    Scores of refugees have been displaced by LRA attacks

    Reports on Sunday blamed the carnage on

    rebels from the Lord's

    Resistance Army (LRA), who have been fighting the government in Kampala for several years.

    "I have just been there, and I have managed to confirm that 173

    people were killed of which 57 had already been buried while others

    were still burning in their houses," Roman Catholic missionary Sebat

    Ayala said.

    The attack was carried out late on Saturday in the Barlonyo

    displaced people's camp, 20km north of Lira

    town and lasted three hours, he said.

    Death toll

    Army spokesman Major Shaban Bantariza confirmed the massacre had taken place, but

     was not immediately able to provide an accurate death

    toll.

    And local journalist Joe Wacha, who is based in Lira, described the

    the scene of the massacre as "terrible".

    He said: "People had started burying the dead and I saw 57 bodies being

    buried while over 400 huts were burnt to ashes and smoke still

    billowed from some of the houses and from some of the bodies."

    Museveni has often claimed to
    have defeated the LRA 

    Earlier this month at another camp near Lira, LRA rebels killed

    about 50 people after infiltrating the facility disguised as regular

    government troops.

    The LRA took up arms against President Yoweri Museveni's

    government in 1988.

    Atrocities

    The group is infamous for its atrocities against civilians and the 

    abduction of thousands of children and has been condemned by human

    rights groups and UN aid agencies.

    Museveni has several times in the past declared that the LRA

    defeated, but each time the group has continued to launch

    horrific attacks in the north of the country.

    A 17-year-old rebel war in northern Uganda has displaced more than

    1.2 million people, who currently live in congested and squalid

    conditions in camps set up by the army.

    The army claims that by housing the displaced in these camps, it

    is able to guard them against rebel abductions conducted by the LRA

    to fill its fighting ranks.

    SOURCE: AFP


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