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Congolese Security Forces Kill 36 Burundian Refugees, Injure Several Others

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Congolese security troops killed at least 36 Burundian refugees and injured more than 100 others during confrontations Friday over plans to return some of the refugees to their home country, officials and local activists said.

Soldiers and police opened fire as the refugees tried to free some of their compatriots in Kamanyola, a town in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo near the Burundi border.

The troops attempted to disperse the refugees by “firing in the air but were overwhelmed” when the group began throwing stones, according to Interior Ministry official Josue Boji.

Eyewitness Alfred Rukungo said the soldiers continued shooting into the crowd even after some refugees were wounded.

Congo-based U.N. communications official Florence Marchal confirmed the deaths and said the Congolese government, the U.N. refugee agency and the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Congo “have deployed teams on-site to shed light on everything that happened.”/VOA


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