Girl (3) burned to death as 320 slain in Congo massacre
Published 29/03/2010 | 05:00
At least 321 people were killed and hundreds were abducted in one of the worst massacres by Africa's most feared rebel group, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), in the Democratic Republic of Congo in December.
A three-year-old girl was burned to death during the attack on men, women and children, an investigation by a human rights group has revealed. Villagers who escaped death were sent back with their lips and ears cut off as a warning to others of what would happen if they talked -- a tactic used frequently by the LRA, which has terrorised much of northern Uganda and the border areas with Sudan and Congo for more than two decades.
The attack -- which was unreported until now -- confirms that the LRA has restarted terrorising the region despite losing its bases in Sudan a few years ago, when Khartoum, its main backer, signed a peace deal with south Sudanese rebels. According to Human Rights Watch, the LRA also abducted at least 250 people during the attack, including 80 children.
Anneke Van Woudenberg, of the New York-based rights group, called the massacre in the Makombo area of northeast Democratic Republic of Congo "one of the worst ever committed by the LRA in its bloody 23-year history".
The LRA is led by Joseph Kony, a warlord dubbed 'the Wizard of the Nile'. (© The Times, London)