Ground troops, helicopter gunship attack rebels in Uganda

Ground troops and a helicopter gunship attacked a group of at least 35 rebel fighters in northern Uganda, killing 20 insurgents, an army spokesman said Wednesday. Three other rebels were captured and the rest fled into the bush following the Tuesday evening attack, Lt. Chris Magezi told The Associated Press.

The army suffered no casualties in the assault in Pader District, 380 kilometers (236 miles) north of Uganda's capital, Kampala, Magezi said. The district is one of three that are hardest hit by a 19-year civil war that is being waged by the elusive Lord's Resistance Army rebels.

The government's counterinsurgency tactics and rebels' brutal attacks, abduction of children and mutilation of civilians have forced more than 1.5 million people from their homes in Africa's longest-running conflict.

The army has killed 30 insurgents since Dec. 24, including a senior commander, rebel Brig. Gen. Joseph Kapere, Magezi said.

The Lord's Resistance Army is made up of the remnants of a northern rebellion that began after President Yoweri Museveni, a southerner, took power in 1986, reports the AP. I.L.

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