Rebels Hack 18 to Death in Eastern Congo, Official Says

  • United Nations says attack could have been by Ugandan rebels
  • Assailants armed with machetes also abducted several people

Suspected members of FDLR, a Rwandan rebel group based in the Democratic Republic of Congo, killed 18 civilians in a village in the volatile eastern part of the country, a local government official said.

The assailants armed with machetes attacked on Tuesday night and spoke Kinyarwanda, the main language in neighboring Rwanda, the mayor of Beni town, Jean Edmoud Masumbuko, said by phone.

The United Nations said the attack on Luna village in Beni could have been carried out by the Allied Democratic Forces rebel group from Uganda. Sixteen people were killed and several others were abducted, according to an e-mailed statement.

“The attack caused the displacement of some 1,500 civilians from the area towards Ituri province,” Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN secretary-general, said in the statement.

Congo, almost the size of Western Europe, is the world’s largest source of cobalt and Africa’s biggest miner of copper and tin. It’s struggled for two decades to defeat dozens of local and foreign militias in the east of the country including FDLR, some of whose leaders are linked to the perpetrators of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

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