Ugandan rebels of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) raided the town of Rafai in the Central African Republicearly on Friday, killing two people and kidnapping 40 others, local residents and unnamed military sources said.
According to local residents, two people were killed with clubs and machetes, while 14 others were severely injured. Reportedly the raid occurred around nightfall and the rebels damaged a church before abducting about 40 people and fleeing with them into the bush.
Military sources confirmed the attacked, saying that, LRA rebels took 40 people hostage and ransacked a part of the town before retreating to their positions. One soldier of the Central African Army (FACA) was injured when his unit tried to prevent the LRA troops to flee with the hostages. during this unsuccessful effort, several rebels were injured. A search operation was launched by the FACA to find and free the hostages.
The LRA carried out similar attacks in the same region last week, kidnapping at least 10 people in a raid on the village of Kamandare. The villagers of Gbangomboro fled as their village was ransacked two days later. And on Friday February 12, LRA rebels were reported to have occupied the mining town of Nzako for several hours, where they also looted buildings and properties before retreating with several dozen of hostages.
Joseph Kony, the LRA leader is under the scanner of the ICC for crimes against civilians in northern Uganda. The rebel group is blamed for the killings of scores of people in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ugandaand Southern Sudan.