Congo deaths

UN peacekeepers found the bodies of a dozen shot civilians yesterday in an eastern Congo village occupied by Tutsi rebels who have seized fresh territory in North Kivu province, witnesses and a UN spokesman said.

A stench of death hung over Kiwanja when journalists and UN troops entered the village, where fighters loyal to rebel General Laurent Nkunda drove out pro-government Mai-Mai militia on Wednesday, sending its inhabitants fleeing in panic.

Kiwanja residents said Nkunda’s National Congress for the Defence of the People rebels had carried out the killings after taking control of the village in the latest flare-up of a conflict that traces its origins to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

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