AFP – Ugandan soldiers hunting Lord’s Resistance Army rebel leader Joseph Kony clashed with the forces of one of his top deputies, killing two, the army said Tuesday.
The clash between a squad of Ugandan troops and the insurgents — headed by Dominic Ongwen, one of three LRA commanders wanted by the International Criminal Court — took place on Friday in remote jungle in the Central African Republic, said Ugandan army spokesman Felix Kulayigye.
The army also brought in two people who were in the bush with the LRA, Kulayigye added.
“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),” he said.
Two rebels were killed and weapons and equipment were recovered, the army said.
Believed to now number around 250 fighters, the LRA has waged a brutal 25-year insurgency against the Ugandan government, becoming infamous for mutilating victims and abducting children to use as sex slaves and porters.
The Ugandan army — backed up by around 100 US special forces troops — is spearheading the hunt for Kony in a vast area of sparsely populated jungle.
The LRA has split up into small groups and Kony is currently thought to be hiding out close to where the borders of the Central African Republic, South Sudan and Sudan meet.
Abducted as a young boy, Ongwen is one of the LRA’s most feared commanders, and is currently thought to be the group’s director of operations.