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Ituri militiamen shoot dead electoral official

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KINSHASA, 23 Aug 2005 (IRIN) - Unidentified militiamen shot dead an electoral official on Monday when they attacked a voter registration centre in Fataki, a town in the northeastern district of Ituri in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Independent Electoral Commission Chairman Apollinaire Malu Malu said.

Malu Malu said the official, whom he did not name, was in charge of identifying people arriving at the centre without identification cards.

Monday's attack was the first on a registration centre since the process began in Kinshasa, the nation's capital, on 20 June.

Electoral Officials have registered at least 10,000 voters in Ituri, a process that began here three weeks ago. However, it has slowed because of difficulties in transporting election materials. For this reason, registration has been extended for an additional week, Electoral Commission spokesman Dieudonne Mirimo said.

Disruption of registration has always been a distinct possibility given the prevailing insecurity in Ituri, although some 16,000 militiamen have disarmed voluntarily under the supervision of the UN Mission in DRC. However, some 1,000 others have refused to do so and have actually been attacking UN peacekeepers, government troops and civilians.


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