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Ugandan LRA rebels ransack, loot church in southern CAR

By Richard Ruati

February 21, 2010 (RAFAI, CAR) - About 40 armed members of the Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) led by their leader Joseph Kony, on Friday evening stormed a Catholic Church in the southern city of Rafai, 900 km of Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, a correspondent of a rural radio station has reported here.

According to the correspondent, the first elements of the regular army that arrived on the scene of the attack routed the rebels, who before running away, had turned the whole church upside down and taken about 30 people hostage.

"The army is still chasing the plunderers, who are believed to have withdrawn to Baroua, 147 km from Rafai," the radio reported.

It is to be noted that those armed men were immediately recognized by the local people as "Tongo-Tongo" (referring to the LRA rebels) who had attacked on 11 February 2010, the CAR’s mining town of Nzako (south-east) taking many hostages.

The LRA, one of the most ruthless guerrilla movements in the world started its activities in 1988 in northern Uganda.

In 2005, the LRA had fled its traditional bases in Uganda to settle in the north-east of the Democratic Republic of Condo (DRC), near the border with the Central African Republic.

(ST)