updated 8/27/2007 8:52:56 AM ET 2007-08-27T12:52:56

A truck carrying soldiers and their families overturned in eastern Uganda, killing 72 people and injuring 40 others, the army spokesman said Monday.

The truck crashed Sunday after hitting a concrete barrier on the roadside 155 miles northeast of the capital, Kampala, spokesman Maj. Felix Kulayigye said. The death toll could rise, he said.

"We are trying to determine the cause of the accident," said Kulayigye, adding that it was not clear how many passengers the truck was carrying.

Deadly roadways
In Uganda, trucks with makeshift benches are the usual means of transport over long distances. Road accidents are common where poor road conditions coupled with badly maintained vehicles make for precarious driving conditions. The police estimate that up to 2,000 people die on Uganda's roads each year.

The soldiers and their families had just left their station at the border with Kenya, said the army spokesman.

The Ugandan army has beefed up its troops at the border following recent clashes with men from Kenya's Pokot tribe who have crossed into Uganda to steal livestock. In July, Ugandan soldiers killed eight Pokot men who had crossed into the country and attacked them.

Cattle rustling by nomadic tribes in the semiarid region that encompasses northern Kenya, Uganda, southern Sudan and Ethiopia is common. The raiders have become increasingly lethal as they have acquired modern weapons. Arms have flooded the region following conflicts in Uganda, Sudan and Somalia.

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