World

Gunmen attack physician who aids Congo rape victims

KINSHASA, Congo — Gunmen killed a guard and fired at a renowned Congolese doctor who has helped thousands of women after violent rapes.

Four armed assailants killed a security guard and shot at Dr. Denis Mukwege at his home in Bukavu Thursday night and stole the medic’s car, the South Kivu Province Governor Marcellin Cishambo said Friday.

The intruders held Mukwege’s family at gunpoint and waited for the doctor to return home from work, according to Physicians for Human Rights. When Mukwege arrived they forced him out of his car and shot dead the security guard who tried to intervene. Shots were fired at Mukwege but he succeeded in ducking from them. The gunmen drove off in the doctor’s car, but quickly abandoned it.

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Security has been increased at the doctor’s home, the governor said.

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Mukwege is a gynecologist devoted to the cause of women victims of rape in Congo.

He founded the Panzi Hospital in Bukavu. Mukwege, 57, and his team have treated more than 30,000 victims of violent rapes during the last 10 years. Many of the women and girls were gang-raped and needed surgery for their injuries.

The attack on Mukwege’s home highlights the increasingly volatile and violent situation in eastern Congo.