Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) was blamed for an attack on a French uranium plant in the Central African Republic, it was reported Tuesday.
A military source said that Sunday’s attack and looting was carried out by “Ugandan rebels of the LRA” in the Bakouma mine, who “were recognized by residents, many of whom fled to hide in the Catholic church or in the bush,” the AFP news agency reported.
“After occupying the site, the rebels then looted the premises, carrying off portable computers, food—notably bags of flour, boxes of sugar, etc.” the source said. “They also destroyed office computers before retreating Monday afternoon.”
The French-language Le Nouvel Observateur newspaper said there were no deaths during the actual attack, but cited a military source as saying they killed a villager around 15 miles from the uranium plant.
Originally, the attack was blamed on a separatist group operating in nearby Chad.Central African officials said rebels released foreigners Tuesday who were captured at the Bakouma mine, though officials with the company said none had been kidnapped, The Associated Press reported. A plane was dispatched to pick up five French nationals, who were taken to the capital, Bangui.
The LRA was established more than two decades ago by Kony, who was the subject of a campaign by U.S.-based Invisible Children with a video that went viral on the Internet. The LRA has used child soldiers, committed numerous extrajudicial killings, used torture, and mutilated people in its war against the Ugandan government.