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 Thursday, 19 December, 2002, 13:57 GMT
DR Congo concert leads to tragedy
Goma during January's eruption
People have returned to Goma after January's eruption
Four people have been killed and at least 30 others injured, seven seriously, in a stampede after a concert in Goma, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

People were trampled underfoot on Wednesday evening when soldiers guarding the exit of the football stadium fired into the air to disperse bystanders as the singers were leaving the venue, causing panic.

The free concert, by the Europe-based Christian singers Makoma, was organised by the rebels of the Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD) who have their headquarters in Goma.

On Tuesday, the Congolese Government and rebel movements, including the RCD, signed a peace deal marking the end of the four-year war in which more than two million people are estimated to have died from hunger and disease.

Single exit

About 20,000 people attended the concert, the third of Makoma's tour of the country.

But after the show a crowd who had watched from behind the gate of the stadium demanded that Makoma come out of their vehicles so that they may see them, according to a local radio station.

"Troops fired shots to allow the singers to leave first as thousands of people were already pushing to leave through the stadium's only exit, which led to shoving and trampling," a witness was quoted as saying by the French news agency, AFP.

Local radio said RCD Chairman Adolphe Onusumba had visited the injured in Goma general hospital.


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18 Dec 02 | Africa
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