Five Chinese employees kidnapped in eastern Congo

GENEVA — Five Chinese nationals have been kidnapped in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo after an attack on a village, the United Nations said Wednesday.

The village was attacked in the Bas-Uele Province on Sunday night, when unknown assailants held up the families of workers at a copper mine owned by Bengasi Mining. According to a statement from the United Nations Mission in the country, some residents were killed and homes were burned down.

“While the exact number of those killed is not yet known, some 50 homes were burned down in the village,” the U.N. mission said.

The M23 rebels, which are active in eastern Congo and which is supported by Uganda, said they acted independently and at the behest of the Congolese government.

The Chinese mining company, Hong Kong-based Bengasi Group, could not be reached for comment.

The attack is the latest in a string of attacks targeting traders and other Chinese nationals in eastern Congo. In August, three Chinese workers were killed in a double ambush on a bus in the neighboring province of North Kivu.

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