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Militias have killed civilians in northern DR of Congo, UN mission says

25 February 2004 Rival factions of the Mayi-Mayi militia have killed at least 30 civilians in several villages and forced others to flee their homes in Katanga province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the United Nations mission (MONUC) there said today.

MONUC said it had confirmed that the massacre took place principally in Kitenge earlier this month. One faction, under the command of a man called Shinja Shinja - the name means 'Throat-slitter' in Swahili - took hostages, tortured, raped and mutilated victims, and drank their blood.

Shinja Shinja's men killed eight members of the Armed Forces of the DRC who used to be part of the Congolese Armed Forces (FARDC ex-FAC) on 7 February, causing the FARDC ex-FAC to wreak deadly vengeance on civilians suspected of being allied to the Mayi-Mayi, MONUC said.

MONUC appealed to Shinja Shinja's faction to release its hostages and called for an end to violence on all sides.

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