At least one killed in anti-U.N. protest in eastern Congo

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BENI, Democratic Republic (Reuters) - At least one person was killed by security forces on Thursday during protests against United Nations peacekeepers in Oicha, a town in the restive east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the town's mayor said.

Residents in towns in Congo's eastern region have staged several protests since last week over killings by militias and armed groups, and anger over what they say is the U.N. mission's inability to prevent the wave of civilian killings.

Youths in Oicha, a town around 390 km (242 miles) north of the eastern provincial capital of Goma, barricaded the main highway early on Thursday as part of the ongoing protests.

"In an attempt by the police to disperse the protesters and clear the barricade a young man was killed," Oicha's mayor Nicolas Kikuku told Reuters.

Jean Pierre Wumbi, the police commissioner in the region said security forces were carrying out their duty. He declined further comment on the death of the protester.

Demonstrations were held in other eastern towns including Beni and Butembo on Thursday.

The U.N. mission in Congo known as MONUSCO has around 12,000 troops. It took over from an earlier peacekeeping mission in 2010 at the invitation of the government.

Around 330 people have been killed in the violence in eastern Congo this year, an unresolved legacy of a civil war that officially ended in 2003, according to the Kivu Security Tracker, which maps unrest in the region.

Troops attached to the U.N. mission killed one person during a protest in Oicha on Saturday.

(Reporting by Bate Felix; Editing by Gareth Jones)