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LRA rebels ‘torch crowded church’

ICC Note

“The LRA entered around midnight. They surprised the faithful of the church who were in a prayer vigil. They burned them in the church.”

01/19/2009 DR Congo (BBC News)- Uganda ‘s rebel Lord’s Resistance Army has reportedly torched a church crowded with worshippers holding a prayer vigil in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

It is not clear how many died. The reported attack was the group’s latest on villages in the north-east DR Congo .

Human Rights Watch says the LRA has killed at least 620 Congolese civilians and abducted more than 160 children since Christmas Eve.

Uganda , DR Congo and South Sudan last month launched an offensive on the LRA.

Local residents said the LRA carried out the church attack on Saturday in a community just 130km (80 miles) from Dungu, which is the military base of Operation Lightning Thunder – the joint multi-national offensive on the rebels.

Felicien Balani, an official in Dungu, told Uganda ‘s New Vision newspaper: “The LRA entered around midnight. They surprised the faithful of the church who were in a prayer vigil. They burned them in the church.”

Two church parishioners who intervened after the rebels had abducted two boys had their hands and legs chopped off and were then beaten to death, said witnesses.

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