DRC: A soldier in the east opens fire and kills at least 12 civilians

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Security forces are looking for the gunman in the town of Sange, near the Burundian border, the governor of the province said.

A soldier in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo shot dead at least 12 people and injured nine others in a drunken rampage, regional authorities said.

The security services are carrying out a search for the gunman in the town of Sange, 24 km from the Burundian border, where the shooting took place, South Kivu province governor Theo Kasi said on Friday in a statement.

"The person responsible is a drunken member of the FARDC (armed forces of the DR Congo) who opened fire on at least 20 civilians who crossed his path," said a prosecutor in Uvira.

Captain Dieudonné Kasereka, spokesman for the army in Uvira, said the gunman was on the run and was still armed.

"An army delegation and a UN team are in the region to calm the population, which is demonstrating against the army," he said.

Angry residents blocked Route 5 which crosses the area, using branches and burning tires.

They also exposed the 12 bodies, wrapped in funeral shrouds, at a busy intersection blocking traffic, several witnesses told AFP news agency.

Ndaburwa Rukalisa, a local leader from Sange, said the soldier was a member of the locally based 122nd FARDC Battalion and was "drunk" at the time.

Nine people were hospitalized in "critical" condition, he added.

The provisional death toll of 12 was confirmed by witnesses, while a judicial source said a two-year-old girl was among those who died in the rampage.

President Félix Tshisekedi called the attack a heinous crime and offered his condolences to the families of the victims.

The DRC's vast army is widely seen as ill-trained and unprofessional, and its staff are frequently accused of committing crimes against civilians.

Senior generals face US and European sanctions for alleged abuse, and are accused by the United Nations of supplying rebels and criminal gangs with weapons.

source: https: //www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/07/soldier-eastern-drc-shoots-kills-12-civilians-200731153626890.html

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