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Thousands flee following attack

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KINSHASA, 30 May 2005 (IRIN) - At least 6,000 civilians have fled following an attack last week in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where 19 civilians were killed and scores of others wounded and taken hostage by Rwandan Hutu rebels.

"Most of the displaced people are women and children in fear of further attacks," Rachelle Scott, the head of public information in the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, told IRIN on Monday.

The displaced fled Nindja, a village in the territory of Walungu in the eastern province of South Kivu after the attack. Many sought refuge in the nearby village of Ihembe and began receiving humanitarian aid late last week, she said.

According to the UN Mission in the DRC (MONUC), the perpetrators of the violence were an armed group of mostly Rwandan Hutus rebel known as the Rastas.

The acting deputy provincial governor, Didas Kaningini, said that many of the displaced had said members of another Rwandan Hutu rebel group, the Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda, also took part in the attack.


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