OCTOBER 6, 2010: Ugandan rebels kill five in Central African attack

Ugandan rebels kill five in Central African attack

SOURCE: Agence France-Presse

Five people were killed in clashes between Ugandan rebels and forces loyal to the government in the Central African Republic, a regional police official said Wednesday.

The clashes took place when Lord's Resistance Army rebels attacked a village in an area controlled by the Union of Democratic Forces for Unity, a former rebel group which has signed a peace deal with the Bangui government.

The fighting happened near Tiringoulou, the UFDR base in northeastern CAR near the border with Chad and Sudan.

"Four LRA elements and one UFDR were killed in this clash," the official at police headquarters in the regional capital Birao said.

He said the former rebel group immediately launched a hunt for surviving LRA members who burned down several houses as they retreated.

The LRA, which has regrouped in CAR after evading a crackdown in neighbouring Uganda, has stepped up attacks on local communities in the northeast of the country in recent months.

It twice attacked the town of Ouandda Djalle last month, meeting with stiff resistance, first from residents, and later from UFDR forces. The clashes killed 16 people, including two civilians.

UFDR troops hunting for the LRA rebels later freed 45 people who had been taken hostage by the LRA during three attacks in August targeting villages around the town of Bria, an important mining area, the official said.

LRA rebels have kidnapped at least 700 people in attacks in Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic since February last year, Human Rights Watch said last month.

The LRA, headed by war crimes suspect Joseph Kony, took up arms against the government in northern Uganda in 1988 but since 2005 moved into remote areas in neighbouring countries after coming under pressure from the Ugandan army.

The fugitive LRA leader has been on the run since December 2008 when regional states launched a hunt to arrest him after he refused to sign a peace deal with Kampala.

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