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Civilians killed in clashes between the military and Tutsi rebels

At least four civilians have been killed and many injured in new clashes between the military and the rebel group M23 in the Congo.

The Tutsi-dominated rebel group was inactive for years before resuming fighting at the end of 2021. It has since taken control of parts of Kivu province in the north of the Congo.

Military officials and residents said on Sunday that M23 has taken control of the village of Ntamugenga in North Kivu. It is strategically important because it is close to the highway north from the provincial capital Goma.

The group’s resurgence has led to unrest in Central Africa. Congo accuses neighboring Rwanda of supporting the rebel group. The UN wrote in an unpublished report from earlier this year.

The military says that three civilians were killed and 35 wounded in the fighting around Ntamugenga at the weekend, while another one was killed and five wounded in clashes further north. On Sunday, it was said from the military that the situation is under control “on all fronts”.

Doctors Without Borders tweeted that 500 people have taken refuge in a nunnery in Ntamugenga, including some of the wounded, and called for a humanitarian corridor for evacuation to be established.

The organization’s emergency coordinator for the area tells AFP that she is “very concerned” about the humanitarian situation in Ntamugenga, and that bombs had been hitting the village all day.

The real death toll from this weekend’s clashes is unclear. At least 23,000 people have fled the area since Thursday, according to the UN Office for Emergency Relief (OCHA).

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