No casualties found in military offensive against Uganda's LRA rebels 2008-12-17 22:42:14   Print

    KAMPALA, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- No casualties have been found in an airstrike on Uganda's rebel camps located in remote northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a military spokesman for the operation said on Wednesday.

    "We have not found any casualties. It is possible they were tipped off before the attack or they carried the injured and the dead away before our ground troops closed in," Capt. Chris Magezi, the spokesman for the joint operation told Xinhua by satellite telephone from Dungu, the main military base for Ugandan and DRC troops.

    Military forces from Uganda, southern Sudan and DRC on Sunday launched an aerial bombing on camps of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA)

    Magezi said six people were rescued, four of them Congolese, one from Central African Republic (CAR) and another from Uganda, who told the army that the rebels fled when the aerial bombardment started.

    The ground troops who arrived at Kony's main camp on Tuesday only found abandoned ammunitions, sub-machine guns, burning huts and vast gardens of food crops.

    "We are very happy this was a decisive blow, without food LRA can not survive," Magezi defended the operation opposed by many legislators representing the war-ravaged north.

    He said the operation will continue to hunt down the rebels whose leader has failed to sign the Final Peace Agreement the group negotiated with government for over two years.

    Meanwhile, the army has started a massive campaign of air-dropping thousands of leaflets in northeastern DRC with messages urging the rebels to surrender and take amnesty.

    "We came here because of you. Give peace a chance and come home," read one message.

    "The whole world cares about you. Use this chance to get out of the war," read another.

    Magezi said the United Nations peace keeping mission in Congo (MONUC) has pledged helicopters to evacuate the combatants who surrender.

    LRA, which has wreaked havoc in northern Uganda and southern Sudan for years, has more recently targeted towns and villages in the DRC and CAR.

Editor: Sun
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