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UN Sees Possible War Crimes by Congo Militia With 296 Dead

  • Lendu armed groups targeting artisanal gold mines in Ituri
  • UN warns attacks could lead to widespread conflict in region
Displaced people carrying their belongings flee the scene of an attack in the Halungupa village, near Beni on Feb. 18.

Displaced people carrying their belongings flee the scene of an attack in the Halungupa village, near Beni on Feb. 18.

Photographer: Alexis Huguet/AFP via Getty Images

At least 296 people have been killed in northeast Democratic Republic of Congo since October, many in acts of violence that may constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity, the United Nations said Wednesday in a new report.

Attacks against civilians mainly by militia from the Lendu community have increased since March, particularly around artisanal gold mines in Ituri province, the UN said. Several hundred thousand people have fled the recent violence, bringing the total number of displaced in Ituri to more than 1.2 million.