May 13, 2009 / 6:08 PM / 11 years ago

Dozens killed in Congo's east - UN citing sources

* At least 90 dead - UN agency says, quoting local sources

* 60 of the civilians, same sources say

(Adds HRW quote, changes dateline)

GOMA, Congo, May 13 (Reuters) - Dozens of people were killed in attacks in eastern Congo over the weekend, a United Nations aid agency and a U.N.-backed radio said on Wednesday, citing local sources who blamed Rwandan Hutu rebels for the deaths.

The U.N.’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement local sources told its staff that at least 90 people, 60 of whom were civilians, had died in an attack on May 9 near Hombo, in North Kivu province.

Citing several local sources and a member of parliament, Radio Okapi, a U.N.-backed radio in Congo, said the rebels, known as the FDLR, had killed at least 62 people, wounded many others and burned houses in the violence near Busurungi.

New York based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said it too had information pointing to large scale killings.

"We are also getting reports of killings of between 60 and 95 people," Anneke Van Woudenberg, HRW’s senior Congo researcher told Reuters on Wednesday.

The Rwandan Hutu rebels have been at the heart of over 15 years of violence in Congo but, earlier this year, the country’s army launched joint operations with former foe Rwanda in a bid to root them out.

Congo and Rwanda declared the operations a success and the U.N. peacekeeping force is planning to help Congo continue them.

But the FDLR have since retaken much of the ground they lost during the offensive and aid workers have long warned that the FDLR was likely to launch reprisals against civilians. (Writing by David Lewis; Editing by Mark John)

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