By Henry Mukasa and Agencies
Attacks by the brutal Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels led by Joseph Kony have increased in recent months, the UN has said.
"The analysis indicates an increasing trend in LRA attacks," in the Central African Republic (CAR) and Democratic Republic of Congo, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a report on Tuesday.
It said that between April and June, 11 civilians were killed and 37 people abducted and atleast 62 attacks recorded in north-eastern DR Congo. Nine attacks were recorded in eastern CAR in the second quarter of 2012.
However, there have been no recorded attacks in 2012 on South Sudan, once a regular LRA target, the report noted.
Regional armies -- backed by around 100 United States Special Forces are currently hunting the LRA in the remote central Africa and DRC jungles.
The rebels are thought to number around 150 fighters but have splintered into small groups and remain capable of terrorizing communities across a vast area. An estimated 475,000 people who fled their homes because of LRA violence remain displaced, according to the UN.
Led by self-proclaimed prophet Kony, the LRA have waged a ferocious insurgency across four countries in the region, becoming infamous for mutilating victims and abducting children for use as sex slaves and soldiers.
A fortnight ago, Human Rights Watch issued a report saying from June 21 to 25, at least 30 LRA combatants carried out a series of attacks near Bakouma, Mbomou prefecture, in eastern CAR.
The LRA attacked the field base of French company, Areva, whose staff are conducting uranium mining activities in the area, and the nearby villages of Lengo, Ouanda, and Denguiro. Large quantities of food, clothing, electronics, and other materials were looted from the Areva base.
In Lengo, 10 kilometers from Bakouma, LRA combatants killed a fisherman near the river on June 23. The same day, they stabbed an elderly carpenter with a bayonet and then decapitated him. When his wife heard gunshots, she ran outside their home and found her husband's body, HRW said.
"While she was sobbing by the body, the LRA combatants returned, beat the elderly woman, and forced her to lead them to her home, and looted all their belongings. The combatants then forced her and three men from Lengo to carry the stolen goods into the forest. She later managed to escape."
At least 10 other civilians were abducted in and around Ouanda and Denguiro.