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South kivu: civilians burned alive in huts

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MISNA - July 11, 2005 9:09 PM

At least 30 people, largely women, were killed and 50 others wounded after an attack by armed men that set huts on fire in a village located in the region of South Kivu said Kemal Saiki, information officer from the UN mission in Congo, MONUC. The episode took place during the night between Saturday and Sunday in the area of Ntutumamba, about 70 km. north of the provincial capital of Bukavu. According to the earliest information received by the peacekeepers from Pakistan, it seems as if all 36 huts of the village were set afire. €85It is difficult to provide an official toll for the victims, but at least 27 to 28 women died along with some children€85 said€85 Saiki. Witnesses told soldiers that the massacre was led by Rwandan rebel Hutus belonging to the same Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDIR), accused of involvement in the genocide of 1994, and who have been living in the eastern Congo since over10 years ago. However, FDIR has denied its responsibility accusing local armed groups instead. MISNA contacted sources in Bukavu noting that there were flows of migrants fleeing the violence especially in the areas of Walungu and Nindja, where there have been frequent attacks lately. The people are seeking refuge in the city because of the indiscriminate violence of the northern area not more than 10km from Bukavu€85. Last week the army launched a clean-up operation called, Falcon Sweep, using at least 3,000 soldiers.


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