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One killed, many wounded as DR Congo police fire on protesters

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One person was killed and at least seven seriously wounded Saturday after DR Congo police opened fire on a crowd protesting deadly militant attacks in the northeastern city of Beni.

There have been a string of rallies against local forces and UN peacekeepers in Beni for failing to stop the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) militia from killing seven civilians on Wednesday.

“The doctor just told us that Obadi (a demonstrator) is dead. We just took his body to the morgue,” Ghislain Muhiwa Kasereka, a spokesman for the pro-democracy Lucha movement told AFP in Beni’s main hospital.

Military prosecutors also confirmed the death, adding that six or seven demonstrators and one policeman were in a critical state in hospital.

An AFP journalist said police opened fire in the heart of the city, near the hospital and the town hall.

More than 60 civilians have been massacred in the Beni region since military action against the ADF began at the start of November.

The ADF began as an Islamist rebellion hostile to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. They fell back into eastern DRC in 1995 and have recruited people of different nationalities, but appear to have halted raids inside Uganda.

The UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo known by its French acronym MONUSCO on Saturday said the Congolese army had launched the offensive unilaterally.

“MONUSCO cannot engage in operations in a war zone without being asked and without strict coordination with the national army,” it said in a tweet, adding that uncoordinated action could lead to friendly fire.


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