Congo Massacre Death Toll Up to 633
Sep. 05, 1998
ROME (AP) _ Searchers have now recovered 633 bodies from a massacre last month in Congo, where rebels are trying to overthrow the government, an Italian missionary news service has reported.
The killers attacked a Catholic mission and nearby villages in a remote area of Congo's eastern South Kivu province on Aug. 24. First reports put the number of dead at 37 _ a priest, three nuns, a seminary student and dozens of refugees crowded into the mission to escape fighting in Congo's rebellion.
The toll reported by missionary organizations topped 200 last week; on Friday, the Misna missionary service said a total of 633 bodies had been found.
Missonaries blamed Congo's rebels for the attack, which Pope John Paul II publicly condemned. Misna said the victims were killed for supporting government forces in the fight against rebels battling to bring down President Laurent Kabila.
The rebel Congolese Democratic movement denied responsibility and said bandits were to blame.