Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Rwandans Cut Bloody Swath; 1,000 Tutsis Slain in Church

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Rwandans Cut Bloody Swath; 1,000 Tutsis Slain in Church

Article excerpt

Marauding gangs of youths armed with machetes roamed the streets of Rwanda's capital again Friday.

The Hutu-dominated government and the mostly Tutsi rebels continued to duel for control of the capital, Kigali, with mortars and rockets.

New reports of massacres emerged from the Rwandan bloodbath, including the killing of more than 1,000 men, women and children in a church where they sought refuge.

Thousands of people were still trying to flee Kigali, forming an 8-mile-long column of refugees.

Thousands more remained huddled in hiding with little or no food.

A U.N. spokesman, Moctar Gueye, said from Kigali, "There are hundreds of thousands of people cut off from anything decent or human. People are starving to death in their own houses. Babies have starved to death in their own homes. People are in hiding and cannot find food. Hospitals are not functioning."

Tens of thousands of people are estimated to have died in a week of fighting rooted in the feud between Rwanda's majority Hutu and minority Tutsi ethnic groups. Many have been hacked to death by gangs with machetes, knives and spears.

At least 12,000 people were under U.N. protection at Kigali's national stadium and at the main King Faisal Hospital. But Gueye said the lightly armed U.N. peacekeepers did not have the resources to cope with the refugees.

Belgian news media reported that almost 1,200 Tutsis, including 650 children, were massacred Wednesday at a church in Musha, 25 miles east of Kigali. It was the largest reported massacre so far in the fighting.

Gueye said the United Nations had received several reports of the massacre but had not been able to confirm it because of a shortage of staff.

Radio Vlaanderen International in Belgium and reporters in Kigali for the Belgian newspapers Het Volk and De Morgen said the Hutu-dominated presidential guard was being blamed for the massacre.

The church's pastor, Danko Litrick, told Het Volk: "At 6:30 Wednesday morning, they suddenly came into our church. …

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