D. R. of Congo: Spanish Jesuit abducted, Belgian struck

In northeastern Congo, the Congolese Rally for Democracy (CRD-Goma) and the Patriotic Rwandan Army are fighting for control of the area. Clashes broke out in Kisangani on 14 May, and sixteen or more people were killed. A Spanish Jesuit, Fr. Francisco-Javier Zabalo (62), the parish priest of Christ-Roi (Christ the King) in the district of Mangobo, was assisting some wounded people and bringing them to the hospital when soldiers of the CRD sequestered him, commandeered his vehicle and took him to a place unknown. At the same time his Belgian companion, Guy Verhaegen SJ (75), was struck with a rifle butt and knocked down for protesting against the soldiers who invaded the priests? house and completely pillaged it. On 15 May Fr. Zabalo was released unharmed after interrogation but Fr. Verhaegen is still suffering the effects of the blow, and after a few days with the Sacred Heart Fathers, they returned, despite everything, to their own house. [HL20504]