Nairobi, Kenya — About 300 heavily armed guerrillas slipped into Kampala, the capital of Uganda, and staged a well-coordinated attack on the city's main military barracks in an attempt to overthrow the government of President Milton Obote. At least 69 people were killed in fierce fighting between troops and guerrillas, according to Radio Uganda, monitored in Nairobi.
The assault sparked some of the heaviest fighting in Uganda since the war that ousted dictator Idi Amin in 1979. Kampala residents and diplomats contacted by telephone from Nairobi said the fighting had included mortars, rocket-propelled grenades, and heavy machine guns.
Responsibility for the assault was claimed by the Uganda Freedom Movement, one of three guerrilla movements that joined forces in January in a campaign to overthrow Dr. Obote.
The Tanzanian news agency Shihata said Paulo Muwanga, the Ugandan vice-president and defense minister, narrowly escaped when his convoy came under rebel fire on the Kampala-Entebbe road.