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AP Photos: 25 years ago, images exposed Rwanda's genocide

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CORRECTS SPELLING OF BOUJU, NOT BOUJOU - FILE - In this May 23, 1994, file photo, a Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) rebel walks by the plane wreckage in...
EDS NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT - FILE - In this May 31, 1994, file photo, the bodies of a woman and her child lie by a church in Nyarubuye parish, which wa...
EDS NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT - FILE - In this May 31, 1994, file photo, the body of a man lies at the entrance to a church in Nyarubuye, Rwanda. The scal...
FILE - In this June 4, 1994, file photo, Reverien Rurangua, who was wounded in a machete attack and evacuated by the Red Cross from Kabgayi, near Kiga...
FILE - In this May 14, 1994, file photo, a pickup truck carries Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) rebels to front line positions closer to the capital Kig...
FILE - In this Friday, May 13, 1994, file photo, a boy who survived a massacre in the village of Karubamba in April and whose leg was injured by a mac...
EDS NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT - FILE - In this June 8, 1994, file photo, a little girl clutches the body of her mother, who died two days earlier of starv...
FILE - In this June 9, 1994, file photo, a young orphan, his legs amputated below the knee, rests on a foam cushion near his artificial limbs at an or...
FILE - In this Aug. 20, 1994, file photo, Rwandan refugee children plead with Zairean soldiers to allow them across a bridge separating Rwanda and Zai...
FILE - In this May 17, 1994, file photo, refugees who fled the ethnic bloodbath in neighboring Rwanda carry water containers back to their huts at the...
FILE - In this July 27, 1994, file photo, a Rwandan Hutu refugee child desperately tries to waken his mother from a diseased sleep in the Munigi camp ...
FILE - In this June 6, 1994, file photo, a starving woman, one of thousands of civilians caught in the fighting between government troops and the Rwan...
FILE - In this June 4, 1994, file photo, Nyabimana (first name unknown), 26, who was evacuated after being found by the Red Cross wandering in Kabgayi...
FILE - In this Friday, July 29, 1994 file photo, a six-month-old Rwandan baby girl weighing only two and a half kilograms (5.5 pounds) is fed through ...
FILE - In this July 28, 1994, file photo, a Rwandan child too weak to stand in line to receive a vaccination, rests his head at the SOS village orphan...
FILE - In this Dec. 19, 1996, file photo, tens of thousands of Rwandan refugees, who have been forced by the Tanzanian authorities to return to their ...
FILE - In this Aug. 17, 1994, file photo, some of the 334 inmates in a prison who are accused of committing war crimes and participating in the genoci...

CORRECTS SPELLING OF BOUJU, NOT BOUJOU - FILE - In this May 23, 1994, file photo, a Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) rebel walks by the plane wreckage in...

EDS NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT - FILE - In this May 31, 1994, file photo, the bodies of a woman and her child lie by a church in Nyarubuye parish, which wa...

EDS NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT - FILE - In this May 31, 1994, file photo, the body of a man lies at the entrance to a church in Nyarubuye, Rwanda. The scal...

FILE - In this June 4, 1994, file photo, Reverien Rurangua, who was wounded in a machete attack and evacuated by the Red Cross from Kabgayi, near Kiga...

FILE - In this May 14, 1994, file photo, a pickup truck carries Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) rebels to front line positions closer to the capital Kig...

FILE - In this Friday, May 13, 1994, file photo, a boy who survived a massacre in the village of Karubamba in April and whose leg was injured by a mac...

EDS NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT - FILE - In this June 8, 1994, file photo, a little girl clutches the body of her mother, who died two days earlier of starv...

FILE - In this June 9, 1994, file photo, a young orphan, his legs amputated below the knee, rests on a foam cushion near his artificial limbs at an or...

FILE - In this Aug. 20, 1994, file photo, Rwandan refugee children plead with Zairean soldiers to allow them across a bridge separating Rwanda and Zai...

FILE - In this May 17, 1994, file photo, refugees who fled the ethnic bloodbath in neighboring Rwanda carry water containers back to their huts at the...

FILE - In this July 27, 1994, file photo, a Rwandan Hutu refugee child desperately tries to waken his mother from a diseased sleep in the Munigi camp ...

FILE - In this June 6, 1994, file photo, a starving woman, one of thousands of civilians caught in the fighting between government troops and the Rwan...

FILE - In this June 4, 1994, file photo, Nyabimana (first name unknown), 26, who was evacuated after being found by the Red Cross wandering in Kabgayi...

FILE - In this Friday, July 29, 1994 file photo, a six-month-old Rwandan baby girl weighing only two and a half kilograms (5.5 pounds) is fed through ...

FILE - In this July 28, 1994, file photo, a Rwandan child too weak to stand in line to receive a vaccination, rests his head at the SOS village orphan...

FILE - In this Dec. 19, 1996, file photo, tens of thousands of Rwandan refugees, who have been forced by the Tanzanian authorities to return to their ...

FILE - In this Aug. 17, 1994, file photo, some of the 334 inmates in a prison who are accused of committing war crimes and participating in the genoci...

KIGALI, Rwanda (AP) — Twenty-five years ago, Rwanda descended into an orgy of violence in which some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were massacred by the majority Hutu population over a 100-day period in what was the worst genocide in recent history.

The massacres, mostly by gangs wielding machetes, swept across Rwanda and groups of people were killed in their homes and farms and where they sought shelter in churches and schools. The mass killings started after a plane was shot down on April 6, 1994, in the capital, Kigali, killing President Juvenal Habyarimana. The killers were encouraged by hate messages broadcast on radio stations. Rwandan police, military and other government authorities did not stop the killings.

Scores of thousands of terrified Tutsis fled Rwanda for neighboring countries including Congo, Tanzania and Uganda. The waves of murders continued until the rebel forces of the Rwandan Patriotic Front took control of the country. Paul Kagame, who led the rebels, helped re-establish order in the country and served as vice-president and defense minister from 1994 until he became Rwanda's president in 2000. Under Kagame's leadership Rwanda has achieved stability and economic growth, although he is widely accused of being intolerant of criticism and of running a repressive government.

The scale of the killings in 1994 was unimaginable but the reporting and photographs taken at the time, for which AP won Pulitzer prizes, helped to inform the world of the horrors of the genocide.