At least 39 people were killed and 94 injured in a latest shooting attack in Congo on September 15, the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR said on Tuesday.
The UN agency said the attack took place after Congolese soldiers fired live rounds at Burundian protesters in the eastern part of the country, many of whom UNHCR believes were refugees and asylum seekers, Xinhua news agency reported.
The protest allegedly started after a small group of Burundians were detained by Congolese authorities, creating fears they were going to be deported to Burundi.
According to UNHCR, the dead included Burundian men, women and one child. The incident also resulted in the death of one Congolese soldier with six others wounded.
“This is a devastating tragedy. It should never have happened,” said Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
In a statement on Tuesday, he welcomed the announcement from Congolese officials to launch an inquiry into the incident.
UNHCR figures show that DRC hosts more than 43,700 refugees who have arrived from Burundi since 2015.