Friday, October 30, 2009

DR Congo Villagers 'Slaughter 47 Cops'

Armed villagers killed at least 47 policemen trying to intervene in ethnic clashes in northern Democratic Republic of Congo, UN-sponsored radio has reported.

An unknown number of civilians also died in the violence, which erupted in the village of Dongo in Equateur province on Thursday, Radio Okapi said.

People from neighbouring villages representing two different ethnic groups have been involved in on-and-off fighting for months.

The violence is not linked to simmering tensions in Congo's east, which is the most unstable region of the country.

Several armed groups have been active there for more than a decade.

On Wednesday, an official said armed men beat up and robbed a group of about 100 people travelling in the eastern province of Nord-Kivu.

The robbers were "dressed like troops of the FARDC (DR Congo armed forces), wearing balaclavas and carrying weapons", local civil society chairman Omar Kavota said.

But he was unable to confirm whether the attack reported to him by victims was carried out by regular soldiers or bandits.

The non-governmental organisation Mr Kavota heads has registered more than 30 such attacks on civilians since the start of this year.

Last weekend, at least six people were killed and several others injured in attacks blamed on Hutu rebels of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda.

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