A military official says that more than two dozen civilians have been killed in a series of attacks by a feared militia in eastern Congo. Col Sylvain Ekenge said yesterday that Rwandan Hutu fighters killed at least 26 people in attacks since New Year's. However, a local official told Congolese radio that the death toll may be as high as 41.
Ekenge said at least 13 were wounded in the Jan. 2-4 attacks in the South Kivu province. The Rwandan Hutu militia, known by its French acronym FDLR, has terrorized eastern Congo for years, launching brutal attacks on civilians.
The Congolese government has unsuccessfully attempted to eradicate the group, which crossed into Congo following Rwanda's 1994 genocide. Ekenge said that the military has launched two battalions to pursue the attackers.