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Death all around

Photo

A Congolese refugee in a tattered baseball cap, worn clothes and blue flip-flops begged me for a cigarette at Kibati, a camp for 65,000 people displaced by fighting in eastern Congo.

I scolded him, saying smoking was bad for his health, as if anything could be worse for your health than living in this conflict-racked corner of Democratic Republic of Congo.

Machine gun fire erupted nearby and people dived for cover, ducking into rows of flimsy tents made from torn sheets of white plastic stretched over sticks.

"Mister, mister, come lie down in here," a voice called from one tent as bullets hummed nearby like an electrical current.

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