Agency says 500 killed by rebels


Rome - A Catholic missionary news agency yesterday said 500 civilians were massacred by Congolese rebels and soldiers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo between December 30th and January 1st.

Father Giulio Albanese, editor of the Misna agency, said: "We are receiving little by little the names. Counting has not ended. There are roughly 500 dead. They were killed with machetes, shot. It's something unbelievable." He said the killings, which have not been independently confirmed, took place in the village of Makobola, some 15 km from Uvira, in the south Kivu region. He said the dead belonged to local ethnic groups and different Christian denominations. "We believe it is the worst [massacre] yet," he said.

Rebels denied the report saying: "It's impossible. The area around Uvira is calm and has been calm." A rebel commander, Mr Jonas Padiri, said: "There have been no problems there."