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Congo: 18 dead in police and pastor-led militia clashes

Eighteen people have been killed in clashes between police and a Christian pastor-led militia in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Several people had been taken hostage by the pastor from the Kimbanguist church on Tuesday in the northwestern province of Mongala.

The former deputy commissioner of Mongala, Michael Sakombi, said the fighting had no link to Congo's wider political struggles.

Several violent clashes have erupted in the African country this week in protest at President Joseph Kabila's decision to stay on past the end of his mandate, which expired at midnight on 20 December.

At least 17 dead in anti-government protests in Congo

Police and anti-government protesters clashed in Kinshasa. Credit: Reuters

At least 17 people have been killed during protests in the Congolese capital on Monday.

The dead include three police officers, with one witness telling Reuters they saw a crowd burning the body of an officer.

A march attended by thousands descended into violence as police and anti-government protesters clashed in Kinshasa.

Protesters are angry at what they see as an attempt by President Joseph Kabila to extend his tenure by plotting to delay elections scheduled for this November until next year, something his supporters deny.


Rebels slaughter 30 in Congo's deadliest massacre this year

Suspected rebels have killed at least 30 civilians in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the army said - making it the deadliest massacre in the conflict-stricken country so far this year.

Local army spokesman Mak Hazukay said the militants were believed to belong to the Allied Democratic Forces, a Ugandan Islamist group which has operated in eastern Congo since the 90s.

They struck the village of Rwangoma, about 5km (3 miles) south of the commercial hub of Beni on Saturday night at around 7pm local time (6pm BST).

Delevingne joins Save the Children for health campaign

Model Poppy Delevingne has lent her support to Save the Children's No Child Born to Die campaign.

Model Poppy Delevingne went to the Congo to meet families affected by disease Credit: Reuters

The 29-year-old visited the Democratic Republic of the Congo to meet mothers whose children were dying from preventable conditions such as malaria, pneumonia and malnutrition because of a lack of trained doctors, medicines, health facilities and equipment.

It's been an adventure which has taken me completely out of my comfort zone but it's been incredibly thought provoking. I'm going to go back to the UK a changed woman.

Meeting mothers and children who so desperately need help has been truly emotional. We need to change the hopeless situation in the beautiful and magical DRC.

– Poppy Delevingne

According to Save the Children, the number of children dying from preventable diseases has dropped from 12 million to 5.9m - but the charity is now calling for an international pledge to end it completely by 2030 by ensuring everybody has access to basic healthcare.

Missionary shot by robbers days after being awarded OBE

A 75-year-old missionary midwife, awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours List for her work overseas, has been shot while working in the Congo.

Maud Kells, from County Tyrone in Northern Ireland, was shot twice in the shoulder during an armed robbery at her home in Mulita.

Maud Kells, 75, was shot during an armed robbery Credit: UTV

Ms Kells spends half her time in the country working in medical centres for Christian aid organisation WEC International, and half in her home town in Cookstown.

A spokesman for WEC International said she was now in a stable condition, and said the bullets had not broken any bones nor hit any major muscles.

The robbery came just days after she was named in the Queen's New Year Honours list.

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