Ugandan soldiers killed three protesters who were part of a mob that attacked an army post, a senior army officer said Tuesday. The angry crowd, some of whom were armed with machetes, sticks and stones, attacked an army detachment to protest the killing a day earlier of a civilian whom soldiers mistook for a rebel fighter from the Lord's Resistance Army. Soldiers killed the man after he refused an order to stop.
The crowd early Tuesday burned 10 huts and destroyed the army guard post, said Chief of Defense Forces Gen. Aronda Nyakairima. The army post protects a camp for people made homeless by the 19-year insurgency in northern Uganda. The Lalogi camp is located about 360 kilometers (224 miles) north of the capital, Kampala. "We are investigating the incident. If the soldier who killed the first person is found to have killed without justification, we shall take action. We are not doing any cover-up," he said.
The nearly two-decade insurgency has left more than 1.6 million people homeless. The rebellion by the Lord's Resistance Army began in 1986 when President Yoweri Museveni, a southerner, shot his way to power. The LRA rebels have abducted tens of thousands of children, forcing boys to be child soldiers and girls to be sex slaves. Nyakairima said Tuesday that the Ugandan army has rescued 17,000 children from the LRA since 2002, reports the AP. N.U.