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Army: Dead LRA commander was operations chief

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By Tabu Butagira

Posted  Tuesday, December 3  2013 at  02:00
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Kampala- The rebel commander killed last Thursday was Lord’s Resistance Army chief of operations and logistics planner, the UPDF said on Sunday, citing intercepted intelligence and accounts offered by captured fighters.

Both the African Union and the Regional Taskforce it established to eliminate the LRA, confirmed that ‘Col’ Samuel Kangul was killed in combat after his group fell in an ambush staged by the Ugandan contingent of the four-country Regional Taskforce.

“He was the fourth top commander in LRA’s loose hierarchy,” the Deputy Military spokesperson, Maj Robert Ngabirano, said on Sunday.

“Kangul controlled the Chinko-Kogota axis [inside CAR], and we estimate he had about 30 fighters when our troops killed him,” he added.

Sunday Monitor broke news of the elimination of ‘Col’ Kangul and 13 other LRA fighters, one of the major battlefield victories for AU-authorised force in many months.

The UPDF said it recovered 10 AK-47 rifles and a general-purpose PK gun, 5 pistols, and more than 10, 000 bullets.

They reportedly also retrieved a manpack radio, an advanced gadget that US’s top spy agency, National Security Agency, has certified for encrypted voice and data communication at high speed over long distance.

Officials familiar with the operation told this newspaper that Intelligence experts are analysing an LRA command communication guide the UPDF obtained from the rebels, hoping it will help them locate where the most wanted commanders are hiding.
Maj Ngabirano said the UPDF contingent, based on US-provided intelligence and field logistics, intercepted two LRA rebel groups on the banks of River Vovodo on November 28.

The army says intercepted LRA groups were attempting to link up with a main group under Dominic Ongwen, said to be current deputy of Joseph Kony.
Satellite and cellphone handsets with numerous Subscriber Identity Module phone cards, which security experts believe could track the rebels’ communications, contacts and location were recovered.
We could not independently verify these accounts.

tbutagira@ug.nationmedia.com