International peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo say the government has pulled 150 policemen out of the strife-torn city of Bunia in an effort to prevent further violence.

The announcement Sunday responds to concerns from the peacekeepers and from ethnic Hema militiamen, who consider the police partial to the rival Lendu.

The peacekeepers say the government will evacuate the remainder of its police officers from Bunia in the coming days.

Violence between the two ethnic groups has claimed hundreds of lives over the past month and prompted the peacekeepers' deployment.