Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Ugandan rebels kidnap schoolgirls

A Ugandan army spokesman, Shaban Bantariza, told the BBC that some girls had managed to escape the night-time attack on their school in the north-east of the country. Twelve girls had been found hiding nearby and were rescued, but between 40 and 80 were still thought to be missing. The United Nations says the rebel LRA has kidnapped more than 5,000 children in the past year alone, using them as soldiers, labourers and sex slaves. Mr Bantarisa told the BBC's World Today programme that the raid on the Roman Catholic school near Soroti was a continuation of the rebels' 17-year brutal resistance movement.