Rwandan villagers living in fear after rebel attack

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By BBC Africa 

Panic has gripped residents of Musanze district in northern Rwanda after assailants killed 14 people last week.

“The situation is terrible, we are very afraid that they might come back and kill those who escaped, we do not sleep anymore”, Isaac Niyonshuti, a trader in Kabazungu area, told the BBC.

The assailants - suspected to be members of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) militia, attacked villages near the Volcanoes National Park - famous for the mountain gorillas.

Rwandan security forces say they killed 19 rebels and arrested 5 members in an operation over the weekend.

Officials say the rebels carried out the Friday attack while searching for food.

During Sunday's burial of the victims, another resident of Kabazungu said the attackers gathered people in the neighbourhood before they started looting commercial stores.

She told mourners how her husband was killed:

 They came back to us, starting from my husband they hit him with a small hoe in the head and also my two children who were behind him.

They came back to us, starting from my husband they hit him with a small hoe in the head and also my two children who were behind him. I sneaked between the rebels and ran to the bush, I spent the night there and early morning I came back to find the body of my husband in the yard.

I was told my two children were still breathing but critically injured and taken to hospital in Kigali."

 

Local authorities told residents not to worry because the army had restored peace.

After the attack, Rwanda Development Board, the body in charge of tourism, said security organs have restored order and tourism services will continue normally in the Volcanoes National Park.

 

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