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Fuel tanker explosion kills 200 in Congo

More than 200 people were killed and 100 injured when a fuel tanker overturned and exploded in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo last night, a local governor said today.

A spokesman for the United Nations mission in Congo said he was checking reports that some peacekeepers had been killed in the explosion as they tried to prevent people from approaching the overturned tanker.

"There was an accident when a truck overturned and petrol started coming out on all sides ... More than 200 people have died so far and about a hundred are injured - seriously burned," said Marcellin Cisambo, governor of South Kivu province where the accident took place.

"Some people were killed trying to steal the fuel, but most of the deaths were of people who were indoors watching the (World Cup) match," Cisambo said.

The accident took place on the road between the provincial capital Bukavu and Uvira, a town to the south on the border with Burundi, Cisambo added.