BY JEAN-YVES KAMALE
KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Local authorities and civil society leaders say extremist-linked rebels killed at least 44 villagers in Congo’s volatile eastern region during separate attacks that started on Sunday night. Eastern Congo has been ravaged by conflict for decades as more than 120 armed groups fight for control of valuable mineral resources and some try to protect their communities. Mass killings by rebels are frequent. The violence has sent nearly seven million people fleeing their homes. Deadly attacks have intensified in recent weeks as authorities and security forces struggle to regain control.