Lord's Army snatches bishop

Government troops clashed with Ugandan insurgents on Wednesday as they sought to rescue an Anglican bishop and his family, taken hostage two hours earlier in the north, said military and church sources.

Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) guerrillas raided Bishop Benjamin Ojwang's home near Kitgum, about 460km north of Kampala, and abducted him and 12 other family members, said army spokesperson Major Shaban Bantariza.

Christian clerics in the region bordering on Sudan told Deutsche Presse-Agentur, dpa that up to 100 LRA guerrillas had attacked the bishop's home after midnight.

Father Joseph Gurner, a German Roman Catholic missionary in Kitgum, said: "The rebels took away Bishop Ojwang and his people, but as they moved, the army shot one of the rebels pushing the bishop.

"The bishop used the opportunity to run to the bush. His wife was not taken and when I visited her this morning, she was still in shock."

LRA rebels have waged war against government forces in the region for more than 17 years.

The incident comes two days after the Ugandan army killed more than 50 LRA rebels in an air raid on rebel positions in southern Sudan. LRA guerrillas abduct mainly youths whom they draft into their ranks.