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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department on Wednesday called on the Democratic Republic of the Congo to protect civilians affected by violence in the country's east, and urged its security forces to refrain from excessive force.

Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the U.S. government was "dismayed" by the deaths of 30 refugees from Burundi and a Congolese soldier in the city of Kamanyola last week, adding: "The cause of the violence must be determined and perpetrators must be held accountable."

(Reporting by Justin Mitchell; Editing by Susan Heavey and Chizu Nomiyama)

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