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Robbers Attack Church in Rwanda

November 19, 1999

KIGALI, Rwanda (AP) _ Five armed robbers attacked a Roman Catholic parish near the Rwandan capital of Kigali, shooting and wounding a Canadian priest, a colleague said Friday.

The Rev. Jean Paul Lebel suffered a minor bullet wound in his arm when the thieves stormed St. John Bosco Parish in Kicukiro, outside Kigali, on Tuesday and demanded money, said the colleague, who identified himself only as Rev. Sebastian.

Violent crime has been on the rise in Kigali, fueled by economic hardship and aided by the easy availability of weapons from the 1990-1994 civil war and the subsequent genocide of more than half a million people.

The parish, which is caring for hundreds of children orphaned in the genocide, had been attacked three times previously, Sebastian said.

Police said they were looking for suspects.

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