Rights group Human Rights Watch (HRW) has criticised security forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo for killing dozens of protesters demonstrating against UN forces.

The government has said that at least 43 people were killed when soldiers broke up a demonstration against UN peacekeepers in the eastern city of Goma on Wednesday.

Dozens were wounded and more than 150 arrested, including the leader of a religious sect.

Initially the authorities had put the number of fatalities at just seven, including a police officer who had been stoned to death.

In a statement, HRW said the officials “who ordered the use of unlawful lethal force should be suspended, investigated, and held accountable in fair and public trials”.

It said the troops appeared to have fired into a crowd to prevent a demonstration against the UN, calling it an “extremely callous as well as unlawful way to enforce a ban”.

It said it had authenticated two videos showing soldiers throwing bodies onto the back of a truck.

The government says it has begun an investigation into the matter.

Source: BBC