More than 100 women were sexually assaulted and many more injured in a mass rape in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo two weeks ago, international aid workers said today. The attacks are believed to have been carried out by a group of 200 rebels who had been integrated into the Congolese Army, only to defect last month, Reuters reports. They have also reportedly looted health care centers and stolen cattle in the area, according to the UN.
“We have medical teams in the area,” says the head of Doctors Without Borders’ mission in the region. “We were about to start on a mass vaccination program when we started hearing stories of rape relating to these events.” Mass rape is frighteningly common in the war-torn Congo; a UN report last month estimated that 48 women are raped every hour there. (Read more Congo rape stories.)