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Iran Press TV

Ethnic strife claims 34 civilian lives in eastern DR Congo

Iran Press TV

Sun Nov 27, 2016 1:56PM

More than 30 civilians have been killed in an attack by militiamen from Nande ethnic group in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Joy Bokele, a local official in North Kivu province, said the Mai Mai Mazembe militiamen attacked the village of Luhanga, where the Hutu ethnic people live, on Sunday.

The official said the assailants began the attack by targeting a position of the DRC military, commonly known as the FARDC, in the village.

"While they were attacking the FARDC," the official added, "another group was executing the population with bladed weapons or bullets."

"The provisional toll is 34 civilians killed," Bokele said.

One of the attackers was also killed in clashes between the DRC forces and the militiamen.

The Nande and Hutu groups have been divided along ethnic lines and relations between the two sides have been tense over the past months. Civilians are the main victims of the ethnic strife.

The country faces grinding poverty and crumbling infrastructure. In addition, the DRC has been suffering from a war in the eastern region since 1998.

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