Rwandan troops kill 300 Hutus

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KIBEHO CAMP, Rwanda (Reuter) - Hundreds of Hutu men, women and children were killed yesterday at a camp in south-west Rwanda by government troops and in stampedes, witnesses said.

A Reuter correspondent said he saw between 200 and 300 dead from the violence since Friday, but was unable to reach the worst part of the camp as roads were clogged by bodies of Hutus lying three-deep.

"About 100 of the bodies I saw had been shot, and the majority had been trampled to death in the stampedes," he said.

"We were picking up dead children and laying them aside to move the car only a few metres. When we reached the corpses lying three deep, we just gave up and turned around."

Aid workers said the killing started early yesterday when the Hutus started slashing each other with machetes in disputes. Other aid agency sources said Rwandan Patriotic Army soldiers opened fire when occupants of the camp, which the government has decided to close, tried to force their way through a security cordon surrounding the camp since Monday.

n Kampala (Reuter) - Rebels of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) slaughtered 82 civilians abducted on a rampage through northern Uganda, a Ugandan military officer said yesterday.

"I can confirm to you that Joseph Kony's rebels killed at least 82 people on Thursday, 73 of them in one go," the army officer said. Seven of the dead were soldiers' wives abducted by LRA fighters from the northern town of Gulu.

Bodies of most of the other civilians slain by the 120-strong rebel force were found on the banks of the river Awic.

The LRA wants Uganda to be ruled strictly by the tenets of the Bible's Ten Commandments.

For years its fighters were ill-equipped, even advancing into battle covered with nut oil they thought would turn bullets to water or throwing bottles they said would explode like grenades.

Thursday was the largest attack by the rebels since they suffered heavy casualties in a battle with troops in 1988.

The officer said President Yoweri Museveni was briefed on the killings and an official statement would be issued later.

The reported LRA attacks coincided with deteriorating relations between Uganda and Sudan.