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'I came all the way here, so I have to run'

Updated: July 2, 2008, 2:45 PM ET
By Tom Farrey | ESPN The Magazine

He remembers the AK-47s most distinctly, the menace of black metal cutting through the dank African air, introducing both panic and discipline to the Sunday morning mass beneath a shade tree.

"Sit down! Lay down!" the rebel leaders demanded as they burst upon the hillside Catholic chapel, thrusting their assault rifles at the heads of the 50 or so parishioners who had come to kneel before a peaceful God, not its spiritual inverse. Lopepe Lomong shivered in the hand-carved pews, terrified. ...

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