At least 30 people have died in fresh clashes after heavily armed men armed attacked villages in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo).
The men – wielding machetes, arrows and AK-47s – are reported to have started by burning people’s homes in at least one of the affected villages in Ituri province, according to the United Nations-sponsored Radio Okapi.
The radio station says it has counted as many as 41 dead, after speaking to local people. In two of the villages alone, witnesses said 10 people had been killed.
However, news agency AFP says it has only confirmed the deaths of 30 people.
“We have recorded 30 deaths. There are certainly other bodies out in the bush. A search is underway,” a government official told the agency.
The violence is believed to be the latest in series ethnic clashes which has left more than 100 people dead since December. There were 31 deaths reported at the start of this month alone.
It has forced some 200,000 people to flee their homes, with conflict between the Hema cattle herders and Lendu farmers being blamed for the upsurge in violence.
However. the problem gripping Ituri is just one of several conflicts in the DR Congo.