Congo security forces shoot dead 18 Burundi refugees

Servicemen of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo patrol in Beni

Congolese security forces killed at least 18 Burundian refugees at a camp in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo in clashes over plans to send some of them home, a local activist and a diplomatic source told Reuters.

Activist Jean-Chrysotome Kijana said Congolese forces opened fire on the refugees on Friday when they tried to free several of their compatriots who had been arrested by the intelligence service at the camp in the town of Kamanyola.

A Western diplomat said soldiers and police opened fire on refugees protesting against plans to send their compatriots home, killing at least 18 and wounding dozens more.

A local army spokesman, Dieudonne Kasereka, told Reuters that there had been clashes between soldiers and refugees armed with knives and machetes, but that he did not know if there were any deaths.

Source: Reuters