The Ugandan Lord's Resistance Army rebels kidnapped around 55 people in raids in a remote corner of the Central African Republic on Saturday, according to Reuters.
A local gendarme and another eyewitness told Reuters about the September 1 attack, which highlights the difficulties Ugandan and US Special Forces face in fighting the Ugandan insurgency led by war criminal Joseph Kony.
"The 55 people who were taken hostage were forced to act as porters carrying food and other basic goods they (the rebels) stole from these two villages," said the gendarme, Nicolas Bondi. Half of those captured were girls.
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There was no statement from Ugandan or US forces who have been hunting Kony's rebels who left Uganda in 2005 and have been operating in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and the Central African Republic.
The news comes a day after reports that the Ugandan army destroyed the base of a key general in the Lord's Resistance Army in the Central African Republic.
Ugandan Army Colonel Milton Katarinyebwa said the army had captured the headquarters of LRA General Dominic Ongwen, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court, according to the Associated Press.
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Last week, Agence France Press reported that Ugandan soldiers clashed with insurgents led by Ongwen, killing two. Army spokesman Felix Kulayigye said, "We rescued a six-year-old child in the bush whose father and mother are still in the bush and both are Ugandans. Also, the squad rescued a 19-year-old boy from DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo)."
The LRA is believed to number around 250 fighters now, and has been waging an insurgency against the Ugandan government for 25 years, AFP noted. It is notorious for abducting and using children as sex slaves and soldiers.