13 killed in DR Congo attack on cash convoy: minister

democratic republic of congo mapThirteen people have been killed in the restive east of the Democratic Republic of Congo in an attack on a convoy transporting some $40,000 in salaries for teachers, Economy Minister Modeste Bahati said.

The attack occurred on Sunday afternoon in South Kivu province. According to a military source and the Trust Merchant Bank (TMB), which was tasked with transporting the funds, 11 soldiers escorting the convoy and two civilians were killed.

The convoy was hit as it approached its destination Lemera, passing the Uvira area near Lake Tanganiyka. The area has seen frequent inter-ethnic violence and attacks by armed criminal gangs.

Two soldiers and four civilians were also “severely injured”, an army officer told AFP on condition of anonymity.

In a statement, the TMB said four of its workers on board the convoy survived.

Speaking on state television, Bahati said the convoy was transporting some 36 million Congolese francs, the equivalent of some $40,000 (36,000 euros), due to be paid out as salaries for teachers.

After the attack nearly 6 million Congolese francs were retrieved and “returned to the TMB”, the army officer told AFP.

The TMB described the attack as a “tragic, unprecedented event”.

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