Attack in restive east leaves dozens dead

Up to 37 people, including women and children, were killed in Congo’s eastern province of South Kivu on Saturday morning in an attack that the regional governor blamed on a dispute over cattle.

The victims, who included several pregnant women, had been shot, stabbed or burned inside their homes. A Reuters cameraman on the scene counted 37 bodies, some of them inside a village church.

Residents and religious leaders said patients in a medical center had also been attacked. Apart from the dead, more than 20 people were injured, with 10 of them in critical condition.

“It is Congolese who have carried out these attacks. It was about a dispute over cows,” South Kivu’s governor, Marcellin Cishambo, said.

He gave a lower estimate of 27 for the number of dead.

South Kivu, a mountainous region rich in minerals, including gold, is home to members of tribes that fled neighboring Burundi after the end of a civil war in 2005.

Some locals from the Congolese Bafuliru tribe blamed rebels from Burundi’s National Liberation Forces for the attacks.

The Congolese government has said it plans to target foreign rebels operating in its eastern region following the defeat of the M23 rebel group late last year.

— Reuters

Government accused of taking newspapers

The Nigerian government has confiscated or destroyed copies of at least four major newspapers, a media watchdog group said.

“Denying Nigerians access to news and information sows the seeds of rumors and distrust,” Sue Valentine, the Committee to Protect Journalists’ Africa coordinator, said Friday, citing information on the Punch newspaper’s Web site.

Defense headquarters spokesman Chris Olukolade said Friday that the military searched trucks carrying newspapers after receiving intelligence “indicating movement of materials with grave security implications across the country using the channel of newsprint related consignments.”

Punch also accused the military of disrupting distribution of copies of newspapers Saturday.

— Associated Press

At least 54 killed in flooding in northeast

Flooding in a remote part of northern Afghanistan has killed more than 50 people and forced thousands to flee their homes, officials said Saturday.

It was the latest in a string of deadly flash floods, landslides and avalanches in Afghanistan’s rugged northern mountains, where roads are poor and many villages are virtually cut off from the rest of the country.

Police in the Guzirga i-Nur district of northeastern Baghlan province said 54 bodies have been recovered, including the remains of women and children, but many people are missing.

— Associated Press

Sinn Fein to skip British inquiry into IRA fugitives: Sinn Fein leaders say they have nothing to hide about their deal with Britain granting effective amnesties to Irish Republican Army fugitives — but they won’t testify to a British parliamentary investigation into the controversy. Sinn Fein deputy leader Martin McGuinness, a former IRA commander, announced that its officials would decline invitations to testify to the London committee of lawmakers. The probe follows courtroom revelations this year that three British governments since 2001 provided 228 IRA veterans documents promising they would not face arrest for unsolved bombings and shootings.

10 Brotherhood supporters given death penalty in Egypt: An Egyptian court sentenced 10 supporters of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood to death in absentia but postponed the sentencing of its leader and other senior members, judicial sources said. Those sentenced were convicted on charges including inciting violence during protests after the army toppled Islamist President Mohamed Morsi last July. Among the 10 was Mohamed Abdel-Maqsoud, a well-known Salafist preacher who fled to Qatar after Morsi was toppled.

S. Africa’s Zuma hospitalized for tests: South African President Jacob Zuma was admitted to a hospital for tests, and doctors are satisfied with his condition, his office said. Further details were not provided. Zuma was inaugurated for a second five-year term two weeks ago after the electoral victory last month of the ruling African National Congress party.

— From news services