KIGALI, Rwanda (CWN) - Rwandan rebels who kidnapped eight nuns on Monday, released five of them, all Rwandans, but continued to detain two others from Spain on Tuesday.

      The Rwanda News Agency reported that Hutu rebels who attacked a Catholic health center in northwestern Rwanda continued to hold the two Spanish nuns -- a doctor and a nurse -- to care for their wounded. The rebels are fighting the Tutsi-led government. "Information we received from radio operators inside Rwanda is that they were seen going to mountains and were in good health," Spanish ambassador Luis Gomez de Aranda Guillen said. "I don't think the kidnappers will ask for anything. We hope they will be released soon."

      The Rwandan army said the rebels attacked the clinic in Kivumu, killing three civilians and taking the nuns hostage. Seventeen more civilians were killed in another attack two hours later. Thousands of people have died in Rwanda since more than 1 million Hutu refugees returned from exile in November 1996. Authorities say the rebels mixed in along with refugees and are bent on destabilizing the country.

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March 26, 1998 volume 9, no. 61         DAILY CATHOLIC