The soldier, displeased that the funeral was going on without him, fired rounds that killed at least 10 children in the melee.
A soldier in the northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo opened fire on family members and others who had buried his son before he could arrive home to attend the ceremony, killing 13 people, officials said Sunday.
The attack late Saturday in the village of Nyakova on the banks of Lake Albert in the province of Ituri, left the soldier’s wife, in-laws, and two of his children dead, said Lt Jules Ngongo, a spokesperson for the army in Ituri province, where the killings took place.
Eight other children were among those also killed by the unidentified soldier.
The soldier arrived home from his post at another village in the province to find family and community members gathered in mourning for his son, who died on Thursday of natural causes, said Baraka Muguwa Oscar, the local village chief.
“This soldier did not like the fact that his son … was buried without his approval and in his absence,” Oscar said.
Search teams comprising members of the Congolese military have been dispatched to apprehend the soldier who fled the scene after the attack.
“No matter what the case, the time, or the circumstances, you can’t take a person’s life. This is an act of indiscipline that will be dealt with by the courts,” said Ngongo, the army spokesperson.