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In DR Congo Troops fire tear gas to halt protest over massacre

The group has been present in Democratic Republic of Congo for more than two decades and is accused of copious human rights abuses.

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Troops fire tear gas to halt protest over DR Congo massacre play

North Kivu has long been targeted in violent attacks blamed on the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) 

(AFP/File Alain Wandimoyi)

Police and troops fired tear gas and warning shots to break up an angry protest Wednesday in the eastern DR Congo town of Beni, where 51 civilians were hacked to death last weekend, an AFP journalist said.

Security forces stepped in after hundreds gathered in the town's main street on the last of a three-day mourning period called by civil society groups over the gruesome murder of dozens of people on Saturday night, the latest in a string of such attacks.

The protesters, who torched an effigy of President Joseph Kabila as well as ruling party flags at the Beni market, claim the authorities have failed to take action against the killings.

More than 650 people have been killed -- mainly hacked to death -- in and around Beni since 2014 in attacks blamed by the government on the rebel Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a partly Islamist armed group of Ugandan origin.

The group has been present in Democratic Republic of Congo for more than two decades and is accused of copious human rights abuses.

The ADF, opposed to Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni, is thought to be deeply embroiled in criminal networks funded by kidnappings, smuggling and logging.

A report published in March by the Congo Research Group at New York University, which looked into the massacres around Beni, claimed that soldiers from the regular army had also participated in the killings.

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