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Congolese Security Forces Kill at Least 18 Burundian Refugees

17 September 2017

Troops in the Democratic Republic of Congo have shot dead at least 34 Burundian refugees.

Six members of the Congolese security forces were killed in the clashes, Congolese army spokesman Dieudonne Kasereka said.

Eighteen Burundian refugees were killed Friday, said Mwanamboka and the others died Saturday, according to reports.

Interior ministry official Josue Boji said the clashes began after a group of refugees overran a jail run by the country's domestic intelligence agency to demand the release of four Burundians who had been arrested for expulsion on Wednesday night.

"They grabbed a gun from a security officer and fired at the soldiers, killing one of them and seriously injuring a senior police officer".

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Five soldiers and 20 of the attackers were killed in the fighting, Mende said.

The violence in Burundi has killed over 700 people and a United Nations commission said last week there were reasonable grounds to believe authorities had committed crimes against humanity. UNHCR also calls for an investigation into this tragic incident.

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General Congo, Maman Sidikou, in a statement said that he condemned the acts of violence perpetrated in Kamanyola.

More than 400,000 refugees from Burundi have fled to neighboring Congo since 2015, to escape an outbreak of political violence that was sparked by President Pierre Nkurunziza's successful but disputed bid to win a third term in office.

The Burundian protesters, she said, "were not happy because four of them have been expelled from Congo".

Congolese Security Forces Kill at Least 18 Burundian Refugees