Congolese armed forces in eastern Congo (DRC) have brutally killed hundreds of civilians and committed widespread rape in the past three months in a military operation backed by the United Nations, Human Rights Watch said Nov. 2. The group called on the UN peacekeeping force in Congo, MONUC, to immediately suspend its support to the military operation or risk being implicated in further atrocities. In two fact-finding missions in eastern Congo in October 2009, Human Rights Watch documented the deliberate killing by Congolese soldiers of at least 270 civilians between the towns of Nyabiondo and Pinga in a remote part of North Kivu province since March. Many of them had been killed during two massacres in August at Mashango and Ndoruma villages. Most of the victims were women, children, and the elderly. Some were decapitated. Others were chopped to death by machete, beaten to death with clubs, or shot as they tried to flee.