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Congo clashes kill scores

February 03, 2007|From the Associated Press

KINSHASA, CONGO — Days of clashes between security forces and demonstrators claiming electoral fraud have left nearly 100 people dead in southwestern Congo, humanitarian and rights groups said Friday.

Demonstrators rampaged through the town of Moanda, setting fire to police posts and several government buildings, prompting security forces to intervene, said Willy Iboma, who heads the local Foundation for the Defense of Children's Rights. The soldiers used automatic weapons and rockets, he said.

The protests, which spread to at least four other towns in Bas-Congo province, were led by a group that supports former warlord Jean-Pierre Bemba, who lost presidential elections last year to Joseph Kabila.

The protesters have complained about legislative and gubernatorial elections last month. Bemba won a senatorial seat, but Kabila supporters won a legislative majority.

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