Soldiers acquit 13 in Congo mass rapes

GOMA, Congo (AP) — A court has acquitted more than a third of the defendants in a rare trial held after mass rapes took place in eastern Congo.

Thirteen of the 38 men charged were acquitted, with the court citing a lack of evidence. The judge, however, sentenced two soldiers to life in prison in connection with the mass rapes. Other defendants received sentences ranging from 10 to 20 years on lesser charges.

Authorities say at least 135 women and girls were raped in and around the town of Minova in eastern Congo in November 2012. Witnesses said that for days, the Congolese army raped, killed and looted in anger and disarray after their defeat by rebels, before discipline could be re-established by army commanders.

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