5,000 Protesters Pelt Troops in Zaire

Associated Press

Infuriated by thieving soldiers preying on residents and refugees, more than 5,000 protesters pelted troops with rocks and blocked food convoys Thursday.

The nearly two-hour demonstration in downtown Goma was touched off by the shooting death of a well-known money-changer. His body was carried through the streets on a wooden stretcher. Protesters said the man was shot by a soldier who demanded money.

Hundreds of refugees joined in the marches, which delayed food trucks and escalated the recriminations against the Zairian soldiers. Goma residents say troops have conducted house-to-house extortion campaigns and robberies at gunpoint. U.N. officials also have accused Zairian soldiers of looting from refugees in the camps around Goma.