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At least 40 people killed in fresh ethnic clashes in DR Congo

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At least 40 people have been killed in the last 48 hours in Northeastern DR Congo following a new outbreak of ethnic clashes between Hema cattle herders and Lendu farmers, local civil society leader John Bosco Lalu told Reuters on Tuesday.

The United Nations-sponsored Radio Okapi reported that heavily armed men armed wielding machetes, arrows and AK-47s attacked villages and burned people’s homes in at least one of the affected villages in Ituri province.

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.

A government official told AFP news agency the death toll was at 30.

“We have recorded 30 deaths. There are certainly other bodies out in the bush. A search is underway,” a government official told the agency.

Fighting between the two groups instigated by Lendu-dominated militia has killed dozens 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. Fighting between the Hema and Lendu around the turn of the century killed tens of thousands of people.

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