Two Chinese killed in attack on mining camp in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo

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Two Chinese killed in attack on mining camp in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo

BENI, Democratic Republic of Congo - Nov 25, Reuters - Two Chinese nationals have been killed and an unknown number of other people kidnapped in an attack by the CODECO militia on a mining camp in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, an army spokesman said on Thursday.

A local chief and a civil society leader confirmed the two deaths and said eight other Chinese people were missing after Wednesday's attack. They blamed CODECO, one of an array of armed groups active in the area.

The attack took place in Djugu, in Ituri province, where Chinese nationals have informal gold mining operations.

We confirmed that CODECO elements attacked one of our positions in Djugu territory. The soldiers also attacked a base of our Chinese brothers, killing two of them and kidnapping others, said Lieutenant Jules Ngongo, spokesman for the army in Ituri.

The militia of CODECO could not be reached for comment. The Chinese Embassy in Kinshasa could not be reached.

The United Nations says that repeated attacks by CODECO have killed hundreds of civilians in Djugu territory since 2017 and forced thousands to flee their homes.

On Sunday night, about 20 people were killed in an attack on civilians in Djugu territory, which the government blamed on CODECO. CODECO's fighters are mainly drawn from the Lendu farming community, which has been in conflict with Hema herders for a long time.

Wednesday's attack was the second attack on a Chinese mining operation in a week in Congo's restive east. On Sunday, authorities said gunmen killed a policeman and kidnapped five Chinese nationals near a mine in South Kivu province.