UNITED NATIONS - The UN mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo found that 126 rapes were committed in an eastern town after Congolese troops fled there last month as rebels advanced on the provincial capital of Goma, the United Nations said on Tuesday.
Congolese troops, aided by a UN peacekeepers have been battling the so-called M23 rebels - who UN experts and Congolese officials say are backed by neighboring Rwanda - for the past eight months in the resource-rich east of the country.
Congolese troops retreated to the nearby town of Minova when the rebels captured Goma on Nov. 20. Kinshasa regained control of Goma almost two weeks later when the rebels withdrew, but the United Nations said the situation remains "tense and fragile."
The UN mission, known at MONUSCO, was investigating alleged human rights abuses in and around Minova from November 20 to November 30 and this month interviewed more than 200 people in the area, said UN spokesman Martin Nesirky.
"According to preliminary findings the UN mission has documented at least 126 cases of rape. The teams were also able to confirm the killings of two civilians, including one minor," Nesirky told reporters.