Seven members of a family were burnt to death on Saturday night in an "arson attack" in Goma in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, police said.
The fire broke out at around 11pm (2100 GMT) in the Katoyi neighbourhood, according to neighbours who told AFP that they came after the occupants of the burning house shouted for help.
According to these witnesses, the house was locked from the outside while the father, mother and children were inside.
"The death toll has risen to 7, as confirmed by all the state services. We are waiting for the results of the investigation to find out more", said Georges Bushu, chief of the Katoyi neighbourhood.
"When we arrived, we found that there was no way for the victims to escape (...), so it turns out that it was criminals who set fire to the house", Gulain Syauswa, a local police officer, told AFP.
"The evidence in our possession points to arson, because we asked the neighbours if there was electricity (in the neighbourhood), and they said no. So the assumption is that it was arson. So the short-circuit hypothesis has been ruled out", he added.