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Congolese Court Acquits All Defendants in Refugee Massacre Case

A court in the Republic of Congo has acquitted all 15 defendants of genocide charges in connection with the massacre of more than 300 Congolese refugees in 1999.

A jury Wednesday also found the defendants, most of whom were top security officials and military officers, not guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The 353 refugees disappeared in 1999 after returning from exile in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.

They were last seen in a riverfront area of the capital, Brazzaville, known as "the beach," where they had been arrested by security forces on suspicion of backing an anti-government militia.

Relatives and human rights groups say the victims were tortured and executed.

Their bodies were never found.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.