Violence, death mars DRC poll

KINSHASA - Two election officials were killed in one of a number of incidents of violence that have marred presidential elections in the war-scarred Democratic Republic of Congo.

KINSHASA - Two election officials were killed in one of a number of incidents of violence that have marred presidential elections in the war-scarred Democratic Republic of Congo.

The officials, in the north-east of the country, were killed early yesterday by an apparently drunk soldier the day after the poll, said the army and the Independent Election Commission.

Election commission spokesman Dieudonne Mirimo said the officials were killed at about 4am by a soldier in Fataki, a town about 60km north-east of the regional capital of Bunia.

Charles Boeka, a liaison officer based in Ituri, said: "The soldier has been arrested. An investigation is scheduled for today."

The deaths have provoked anger and a violent response among local people, who have for years been prey to depredations by soldiers and a 3000-strong rebel militia.

"The population was very disturbed and sacked several polling stations," Mirimo said.

Among other incidents reported in the region, a military source said residents in a district south of Bunia had been unable to vote because the roads were unsafe and no accord had been reached between the army and the militia.

At Bumba, in the north-western province of Equateur, supporters of vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba clashed with security forces after an attempt to rig the polls in favour of his rival, President Joseph Kabila, was discovered, police and UN sources said. - Sapa-AFP

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