Refugees beaten to death on return

Kigali (Reuter) - Villagers beat to death 14 Hutus who had returned home to southern Rwanda a year after an campaign of ethnic killing, UN officials said yesterday.

"They were stoned and beaten to death in Huye, 100 others were forced to flee into the bush while women were subjected to indignities such as walking without their clothes," said Fernando del Mundo, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The violence last Thursday in Huye, near Butare, followed the slaughter of thousands of Hutus by Tutsi government troops in the Kibeho refugee camp nine days ago.

Reports also indicated 2,000 Hutus had been arrested during a operation to disperse refugees from camps in the past week, said Mr del Mundo. A government spokeswoman, Christine Umutoni, denied knowledge of the killings, but confirmed some arrests had been carried out.

News of the killings came shortly after the UN special envoy, Aldo Ajello, chided the government for cutting off water and food to nearly 1,000 Hutus still holding out at Kibeho.