Gunmen killed a police officer and kidnapped five Chinese nationals working at a gold mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s conflict-torn east on Sunday, according to military sources.
A regional army spokesman, Major Dieudonne Kasereka, said that “at around 2 a.m., the Chinese group’s camp was attacked by armed bandits” in the village of Mukera in Fizi territory of South Kivu province..
The attack killed one police officer and injured another, according to Colonel David Epanga, the head of the armed forces in Fizi.
“There were 14 in total, five were taken away by the attackers to an unknown destination,” he said, adding that the other nine were safely evacuated.
The five abducted Chinese workers were employees of a company that has been operating a gold mine in the area for four to five months, Fizi civil society head Lusambya Wanumbe said.
“The company had difficulties starting its activities because of protests by the population which accused it of not respecting the rules,” Wanumbe said.
In August, South Kivu authorities suspended the work of half a dozen Chinese-financed companies, after residents accused them of mining for gold without permission and wrecking the environment.