Cult Members Abduct Bus Passengers
KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) _ Armed members of the Holy Spirit Movement kidnapped 21 bus passengers in northwestern Uganda and forced 18 of the victims to join the cult, a newspaper reported Saturday.
The weekly Guide said its report was based on interviews with three victims who were abducted but then released.
The Holy Spirit Movement is one of at least 10 rebel groups fighting to overthrow President Yoweri Museveni.
According to the Guide, the rebels attacked the bus on March 29 and led the passengers into the bush. It said the three released included a pregnant woman, the mother of a sick child and a person with a physical disability.
The three said the 18 others were forced to undergo rigorous military training, the newspaper reported. One of the prisoners is an employee of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and he was forced to work as an information officer, according to the Guide.
The Holy Spirit Movement was started in 1986 by warrior-priestess Alice Lakwena, who fled into Kenya in 1987 after her followers suffered heavy losses in battles with government forces.
Remnants of the cult have regrouped in northern Uganda, and they raid villages for food, medicine and new members.
Members have been taught to believe that smearing their bodies with oil makes them impervious to bullets.