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Community clashes over gold in eastern DRC leave seven dead

Community clashes over gold in eastern DRC leave seven dead
Congolese artisanal miners are seen mining for gold in the ...   -  
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JOHN WESSELS/AFP or licensors

Democratic Republic Of Congo

A coalition of armed groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has killed at least seven people this week in clashes between community militias over mineral trafficking in the highlands of South Kivu, eastern DRC, local sources said Friday.

A coalition of armed groups "Twigwaneho, Ngumimo and Androïde" attacked Wednesday morning artisanal miners ("diggers") in the mining area of Bigaragara, a locality in the Mutambala sector, in the territory of Fizi, rich in gold, in particular, said Kelvin Bwija, coordinator of "civil society of Uvira-Fizi compatriots.

These groups represent the Banyamulenge community, Tutsi Congolese with distant Rwandan origins.

An antagonistic armed group - the "Biloze Bishambuke" militia - intervened, Mr Bwija added.

"The death toll in our possession is seven civilians killed, 14 wounded and houses burned down," he said. All the victims were artisanal diggers and their helpers," he said.

Samuel Kabundila, head of the Mutambala sector, confirmed the death toll of seven - five adults, including a woman, and two youths, he said.

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