The Ugandan People's Defense Forceb (UPDF) said on Thursday it has killed 23 rebels of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in the war-ravaged districts of Kitgum and Pader in northern region.
The UPDF 5th division spokesman Capt Deo Akiki told Xinhua by telephone that three rebels were killed and one 2nd Lt. Yusuf Lulewas captured alive along the border with Sudan on Wednesday. He said one sub-machine-gun was recovered.
On Tuesday, the UPDF 101 battalion, backed by helicopter gunship raided an LRA rebel group at Lapiri, north of Patongo sub-county in Pader, killing 20 rebels including one commander Vincent Otto.
Akiki said during the operation, the army captured three rebels,10 sub-machine-guns, six pairs of uniforms and an assortment of ammunitions.
He described the security situation in both Kitgum and Pader as being generally calm with no ambushes or attacks being recorded.
He said that the rebel groups that dare make attacks are summarily crushed by the UPDF's foot patrol soldiers backed by helicopter gunships.
According to a military report released recently by the UPDF, the LRA who once numbered close to 7,000 have been reduced to between 500 to 600 of which 370 are original fighters.
The LRA rebels have been fighting the government for the last 19 years, leaving tens of thousands of people dead and over 1.4 million people displaced.
The International Criminal Court recently issued arrest warrants for the LRA's leader Joseph Kony and his top commanders to answer for the war crimes they have committed during the rebellion.
(Xinhua News Agency December 30, 2005)