Armed group kidnaps 35 people in eastern Congo

An armed group kidnapped 35 people Wednesday in eastern Congo, local officials and the UN mission to the country said.

The 35 were abducted in Mambasa in Ituri province. Most of them were artisanal miners - who work non-industrial mines that are often operated illegally - according to local official Alfred Bongwalanga.

He said they were abducted by the group Mai-Mai Simba, which opposes an environmental project in a mining area.

"They have not yet announced the reason for the kidnapping, nor asked for a ransom," Bongwalanga said.

UN mission spokesman Amouzoun Codjo Martin said peacekeepers were searching for the abductees.

Dozens of people were kidnapped last year by armed groups in eastern Congo, usually to obtain a ransom.

Dozens of armed groups have remained active in the area since the 1996-2003 Congo wars, sparked by more than 1 million Rwandans flooding into the region after the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Congo is one of the most mineral-rich countries in the world. Part of the mining is done artisanally.

Last update: Wed, 20/01/2016 - 16:18

More from World

EU-Canada summit gets green light despite trade deal setback

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will travel to Brussels for an EU-Canada summit despite resistance in the...

Nine shot dead in Central African Republic during protests

Nine people were shot dead in the volatile Central African Republic on Monday, hospital sources said, as hundreds of...

Kurds fend off Islamic State attacks as Baghdad-Ankara spat continues

Kurdish forces on Monday said they fended off two attacks by Islamic State fighters in northern Iraq as Turkish and...

One killed, 100 injured in South Africa train collision

One person was killed and about 100 injured Monday when two passenger trains collided head-on in South Africa, the...

Clowns worry about their image following wave of scary clown attacks

German circus owners have joined the nation's clowns in expressing alarm about the damage to the image of clowns...