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Soldiers sentenced for mass rapes in east Congo, though nearly one-third acquitted of charges

A court has convicted and sentenced 25 soldiers accused of carrying out mass rapes in eastern Congo.

In rare convictions handed down Monday, a judge sentenced two soldiers to life in prison, three to 20 years in jail and 20 to 10 years.

Thirteen of those charged were acquitted, with the court citing lack of evidence.

Authorities say at least 135 women and girls were raped in and around the town of Minova in eastern Congo in November 2012.

Witnesses said that for days, the Congolese army raped, killed and looted in anger and disarray after their defeat by rebels, before discipline could be re-established by army commanders.