Refugees From Burundi Killed in Congo, Activists Say

Refugees From Burundi Killed in Congo, Activists Say

Refugees From Burundi Killed in Congo, Activists Say

Congolese security troops killed at least 18 Burundian refugees during confrontations Friday over plans to return some of the refugees to their home country, officials and local activists said. A [Congolese soldier] was killed in the clash, and it led to the escalation of violence.

Initial reports suggest over 30 dead and more than 100 left injured.

"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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The coordinator of the U.N. Communications Group in Congo, Florence Marchal, confirmed a provisional death toll of 18, with 50 others wounded.

The news release also noted that UNHCR and its partners have sent teams to Kamanyola, including medical staff, to treat the injured.

"I am deeply shocked by the high number of civilian casualties who have sought refuge in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and condemn any form of violence between communities".

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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.

An official says Congolese forces have allegedly shot and killed 34 Burundian refugees in an area near Burundi's border.

Kamanyola is home to 2,000 of the almost 44,000 people who have fled Burundi to neighboring Congo, according to the U.N. Refugee Agency.

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