Rwandan Hutu rebels killed at least 14 people in a raid on an isolated village in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo’s North Kivu province, United Nations radio and a local official said on Wednesday. Rebels from the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) attacked Congolese army positions in Myanga around 100 km (64 miles) west of the provincial capital, Goma, before dawn on April 12, they said.
“They fired on the soldiers but also on the civilians. Four (villagers) were killed, including women and children. The village chief was taken hostage, and his throat was cut in the bush,” local administrator Dieudonne Tshishiku, told Reuters. News of the incident did not reach authorities until days later due to Myanga’s isolated location and lack of communications, Tshishiku said.
U.N.-sponsored Radio Okapi, quoting a local civil society coordinator, said at least 10 soldiers were killed in the attack. Congolese army officials said a team had been sent to Myanga to investigate but declined to give any death toll. Congolese soldiers and troops from neighbouring Rwanda launched a joint operation in January against the FDLR rebels, who are seen as a root cause of 15 years of festering conflict in eastern of Congo.
But following a Rwandan pullout a month later, the mainly Hutu rebels have stepped up reprisals against civilians and retaken ground they lost during the offensive. Witnesses said FDLR rebels
killed at least eight people and torched hundreds of homes in two villages about 180 km (110 miles) north of Goma last weekend.
SOURCED FROM REUTERS