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11 Civilians Found Dead After Congo Abduction

VOA News February 15, 2011

Residents of a town in eastern Congo have found the bodies of 11 civilians who were kidnapped by Ugandan rebels.

Authorities in the eastern town of Beni, in North Kivu province, had launched a search for the victims after they were abducted about two weeks ago.

Local officials said Tuesday that the bodies were badly decomposed and showed signs of torture, though it was not immediately clear how the civilians were killed.

Searchers had found another body a few days ago, while the three other kidnapped civilians remain missing.

Officials blame the kidnappings on a Ugandan rebel group known as Allied Democratic Forces. The group fought troops in Uganda during the 1990s before settling in the Democratic Republic of Congo about a decade ago.

Eastern Congo remains wracked with violence eight years after the official end of the country's civil war.

The area is home to many militia and rebel groups, and efforts to subdue or integrate the groups into the national army have largely failed.

Rights groups accuse the army of abusing and killing civilians during anti-rebel operations.

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