Renowned DR Congo doctor flees murderers
An award-winning doctor, renowned for his work for women who have suffered sexual violence, was "evacuated" from a town in eastern DR Congo a close aide told AFP.
Gynaecologist Denis Mukwege's whereabouts were not immediately known but another source said he had left Bukavu with his family.
Bukavu, the capital of South Kivu province, will be brought to a standstill on Wednesday to protest against the attack and rampant violence in the town where at least four people have been killed over the last days, a public figure told AFP.
Five armed men in civilian clothes broke into Mukwege's home on Thursday, but he was able to flee while the attackers were reportedly occupied with a man who tried to raise the alarm.
The doctor was with two of his daughters and one of their friends when the assault took place.
A source with the police investigation told AFP that a domestic worker was shot dead in the attack.
Rights activists have called on the DR Congo government to protect the doctor.
Eastern DR Congo is plagued by conflict with rapes carried out by both rebel militias and government soldiers.
"The International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict urgently calls on the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo to protect Doctor Denis Mukwege" after the attack and assassination attempt at his home in Bukavu, it said on its website.
Police recovered Mukwege's car which was used by the assailants when they fled the scene and has said that the investigation "is progressing well".
On Friday, Didier Reynders, the foreign minister of DR Congo's former colonial master Belgium, called on the authorities to "do everything possible to make sure Dr Mukwege is safe and to rapidly find those guilty of the attack".
Mukwege founded the Panzi hospital and foundation to help the thousands of women who have been raped in the strife-torn east of DR Congo by local and foreign armed groups, as well as by soldiers in the army.
His activities have won him several nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize. Among other awards, in 2008, he received the United Nations Human Rights Prize.
According to a UN statement, "an average 10 to 12 women arrive at the hospital daily for treatment, many of whom require major surgery. Dr Mukwege describes the sexual violence in the region as a weapon of war, which has destroyed entire communities."
Mukwege has also received the King Baudouin Africa Development Prize, while the Carter Foundation has named him a "citizen of the world".