Ugandan troops had wanted LRA leader in its sights

By the Associated Press | October 20, 2011 | 9:27 AM EDT

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — A Ugandan military official says the ruthless African bush fighter that some 100 U.S. military advisers will soon help hunt down was almost caught by Ugandan troops earlier this month.

Military spokesman Col. Felix Kulayigye said a Ugandan force nearly caught Joseph Kony, the leader of the so-called Lord's Resistance Army, in a village in Central African Republic, but that a shoot-out with guards alerted Kony to danger. The spokesman described the development in a telephone interview from Kampala, Uganda.

President Barack Obama announced Friday he is dispatching about 100 U.S. troops — mostly special operations forces — to Africa to advise in the fight against the LRA, a vicious group that kills villagers and enslaves children. Kony is wanted by the International Criminal Court.