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UN team finds 65 bodies in eastern DR of Congo


UN team finds 65 bodies in eastern DR of Congo

The United Nations peacekeeping operation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has discovered 65 bodies, mostly children, apparently massacred Monday, a UN spokesman said today.

“From the evidence gathered, a group of Lendu, believed to be from nearby villages, armed with rifles and machetes, attacked Katchele early” Monday morning, the spokesman, Fred Eckhard, said at a press briefing.

A unit from the UN Organization Mission in the DRC (MONUC), alerted by local combatants, found 23 bodies in a local church and the others in a mass grave, Mr. Eckhard added. Most of the dead were children. Some 20 other persons were wounded and are being treated in local hospitals.

Mr. Eckhard said MONUC had sent a contingent of Pakistani soldiers to Katchele to investigate the massacre and search for weapons.

Two weeks ago, Secretary-General Kofi Annan praised “positive developments” in the DRC, including the establishment of a Government of National Unity and Transition. He had convened a meeting of the leaders of countries in the region, who pledged to work together for peace.

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