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At least 30 dead in clashes in eastern Congo

At least 30 people including civilians have been killed in clashes in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, a rights group said. One UN peacekeeper was killed.

The clashes broke out on Sunday near the northeastern town of Eringeti between Islamist rebels from Uganda and army and UN peacekeepers.

The Congolese army and UN peacekeepers are cooperating against the Allied Defense Forces, a Ugandan rebel force active in the region since the 1990s.

The Study Centre for the Promotion of Peace, Democracy and Human Rights, a group that monitors the conflict, said in a statement 14 rebels were killed in an attack on a military headquarters, while at least seven civilians, eight Congolese soliders and a UN peacekeeper also died.

The vast eastern Congo has long been wracked by conflict, with many rebels groups

vying for control over natural resources.

At least 500 civilians have been killed in rebel raids since October 2014, according to local activists.

The clashes come as Pope Francis visited neighboring Uganda and the Central African Republic

urging peace and friendship between Muslims and Christians.
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cw/tj (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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