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U.N.: Rwandan rebels kill 17 in village attacks

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(CNN) -- Rwandan rebels killed 17 people in overnight attacks on three villages in the northeast region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, a spokesman for the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission said Sunday.

Using machetes, bayonets and clubs, members of the rebel group Rastas also wounded 20 people and kidnapped a dozen more, Kemal Saiki told CNN in an e-mail.

Before the rebels fled into the jungle, they left notes with the bodies that said the violence was carried out in retaliation against recent Congolese Armed Forces operations directed against them, he said.

The United Nations said Congolese Armed Forces and a group from the U.N. Mission in the central African nation were sent to the area to track and pursue the rebels.

Rastas is a splinter group of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, known as Forces Democratiques de Liberation du Rwanda, or FDLR. Rwandan Hutu rebels have been active in the jungles of the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo since Rwanda's 1994 genocide, according to the United Nations.

The United Nations estimates that during the 100 days of the genocide, the Hutu majority killed 800,000 Tutsis and and moderate Hutus.


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