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23 dead in new massacres in DR Congo’s east: regional official


democratic republic of congo mapTwenty-three people have been killed in two new massacres blamed on Ugandan rebels in the restless east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, a regional official told AFP on Thursday.

The killings are the latest blamed on the rebels of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), who are accused of murdering more than 300 people in seven months of massacres in and around the major trading hub of Beni in DR Congo’s North Kivu province.

The latest massacres occurred near the town of Mbau, not far from Beni, regional administrator Amisi Kalonda told AFP by telephone.

The Muslim rebels of the ADF, who launched an insurgency in neighbouring Uganda against President Yoweri Museveni in the mid-1990s, are accused of a series of killings in and around Beni that have left more than 300 people dead since October last year.

Men, women and children were massacred mainly with machetes and knives, prompting a joint operation by the Congolese army and UN troops to put down the jihadist fighters in December.

While a degree of calm was restored, the intervention failed to bring a halt to the killings of civilians.

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