Protesters in E. Congo demand soldiers leave

AP News
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Posted: Oct 18, 2010 9:05 AM
Protesters in E. Congo demand soldiers leave

Witnesses and an official say civilians are protesting after three residents were killed when soldiers looted homes in Congo's South Kivu province.

Katana county resident Emmanuel Mburungu says soldiers forced themselves into homes Sunday, demanding money and mobile phones.

Mburungu says all 11,000 residents in the county have taken to the streets to demand the troops' removal.

Local official Dezire Balezi says the civilians died while resisting the looters, and one soldier was shot over a money dispute.

Army spokesman Col. Vianey Kazarama denies soldiers are involved and blames local gangs.

Congo's first lady led thousands of women Sunday in a march to demand end to mass rapes, some allegedly by soldiers, in volatile eastern Congo.