|Published : 28 Nov 2016, 12:31:22|
Militia attack kills dozens in Congo
At least 34 civilians have been killed in a bout of ethnic violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo's eastern region, authorities said, after a week of soaring tensions.
Sunday's attack by the Mai-Mai Mazembe, a Nande ethnic militia, targeted a displaced persons camp in the Hutu village of Luhanga, local official Joy Bokele told.
"They started by attacking the FARDC (DR Congo military) position. While they were attacking the FARDC, another group was executing the population with bladed weapons or bullets," Bokele said.
Bokele added that one of the attackers was killed in the clashes.
Tensions between the Nande and Hutu have been running high in the troubled east of the country, shaken by two decades of fighting over land, ethnic tensions and mineral riches.
The Nande accuse Congolese Hutus of supporting Rwandan rebel group, the FDLR. The Hutus say they are looking for land where they can settle for farming and accuse the Nande of trying to expel them.
Sunday's attack is the worst inter-communal violence in a year. Dozens of people have died since the start of the year in fighting between the Nande and the Hutus.
"If the army had not intervened, there would have been many more dead," a military source said; according to a media report.