A drunken soldier in Democratic Republic of Congo’s troubled east has opened fire on passers-by, killing at least 12 people, including a two-year-old girl.
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The incident has since sparked angry protests, sources said on Friday.
The shooting happened late on Thursday in Sange, in the territory of Uvira in South Kivu province, the sources said.
“The person responsible is a drunken member of the FARDC (DR Congo armed forces) who opened fire on at least 20 civilians who crossed his path,” a prosecutor in Uvira said.
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Dieudonne Kasereka, the army’s spokesman in Uvira, said: “the toll to our knowledge is 13 dead”, and said the gunman is still armed and on the run.
“An army delegation and a UN team is in the area to calm the population, which is demonstrating against the army.”
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Angry residents blocked Highway 5, which runs through the area, using branches and burning tyres.
They also displayed the 12 bodies wrapped in funeral shrouds at a busy crossroads, blocking traffic, several witnesses told AFP.
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Ndaburwa Rukalisa, a local leader in Sange, said the soldier is a member of the 122nd Battalion of the FARDC, based locally, and was “in a state of drunkenness” when he committed the crime.
Nine people were hospitalised in a “critical” condition, he added.
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Sange is located 80 kilometres from Bukavu, the capital of South Kivu province.
The highway connects Uvira, the province’s second-largest town, with the Burundi border.
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