'34 killed by rebels in latest Congo attack'

Rebels in eastern Congo killed at least 34 civilians in overnight attacks, the latest in a series of deadly raids, a coalition of civil society groups said on Sunday.

Kinshasa: Rebels in eastern Congo killed at least 34 civilians in overnight attacks, the latest in a series of deadly raids, a coalition of civil society groups said on Sunday.

Members of the Allied Defense Forces rebels attacked three villages around the town of Beni, more than 300 kilometres north of Goma, the provincial capital, according to the coalition from North Kivu province.

On his Twitter account, Martin Kobler, head of the UN peacekeeping mission in Congo, condemned the attack and called for Congolese forces and the UN peacekeepers to respond. He said troops from both forces were in the area today.

More than 250 people have been killed in attacks around Beni in the past two months, according to the civil society group.

Eastern Congo is home to a myriad of armed groups and militias, many vying for control of the region's vast mineral resources. The UN peacekeeping force is authorised to battle the rebels groups but has been criticised for doing too little to protect civilians.

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