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Wed, 07 Dec 2011 12:41 - Updated Wed, 07 Dec 2011 12:39

US troops deploy in LRA rebel hunt: Uganda army

KAMPALA

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   KAMPALA - US troops have begun a region-wide hunt for fighters from the Lord's Resistance Army, a Ugandan-born group that has been killing, raping and looting for years, the Ugandan army said Tuesday.

US President Barack Obama in October sent 100 special forces soldiers to help Uganda track down LRA chief and international fugitive Joseph Kony, who has wreaked havoc over  four nations for more than two decades.

"They (US troops) are there and they are setting up their bases," said Ugandan army  spokesman Felix Kulayigye.

US troops had deployed to Obo in the Central African Republic and Nzara in South Sudan, where Uganda's army has forward bases to battle the rebel group, Kulayigye said, but gave no details of the numbers of troops sent.

Some of the US troops staged a training exercise Tuesday with Ugandan airforce crews in Entebbe, about 35 kilometres (21 miles) west of the capital Kampala, on how to package supplies to be air dropped to frontline troops.

Previously Uganda had to rely on supplies being ferried in by helicopter to specified landing sites but will now be able to be resupplied without having to return to base, Kulayigye said.

A US official, speaking to AFP here on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised  to talk to the press, confirmed that some troops had arrived in affected areas but could not say  where exactly the troops were located.