DRC rebels abduct Muslim clerics

rebels-660x330BENI. — Unidentified rebels abducted six Tanzanian Muslim clerics and their driver in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, religious authorities said yesterday.

The imams and their Congolese driver were kidnapped on Sunday between the villages of Rutshuru and Katwiguru in North Kivu region, Imam Musa al-Hajji Hashim, executive secretary of the region’s Islamic community, told dpa.

The rebels, who are assumed to belong to the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebel group, meanwhile demanded a ransom payment of $40 000 from the Islamic community, according to Hashim.

The FDLR, a Hutu rebel group from neighbouring Rwanda, has opposed Tutsi influence in eastern Congo since its formation in 2000 and regularly launches attacks against civilians in the region. — dpa.

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