Butembo: An angry lynch mob burnt to death two people Wednesday who were suspected of links to rebels accused of murdering villagers in northeast Congo.
"I condemn the death of these two people who were lynched then burned by the crowd," Sikuli Uvasaka Makala, mayor of Butembo where the lynching took place, told AFP.
"You are killing innocent people," he told the crowd.
Around 100 troops were dispatched to Butembo "to re-establish order", General Marcel Mbangu, who headed the contingent, told AFP.
Residents told AFP that Butembo had been tense all day, with protesters barricading roads and searching vehicles from areas where Rwandan Hutu rebels from the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) are active.
Soldiers fired warning shots to disperse the crowd and detained a group of suspected ringleaders, officers said.
A young resident in the town who refused to be named said the pair were killed while on their way to the nearby town of Beni, where 51 people were slaughtered earlier this month in a massacre blamed on rebels.
That killing was blamed on a partly Islamist armed group of Ugandan origin, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).
The gruesome bloodshed in Beni touched off mass street protests against the government for failing to protect the population from armed rebel groups that plague the region.
Tension between the Nande and Hutu peoples are also high in the restive east, shaken by two decades of fighting over land, ethnic tensions and mineral riches.