Supporters of Democratic Republic of Congo incumbent President Joseph Kabila celebrate in the streets of Goma.

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Human Rights Watch reports "bloody tactics" in Congo in recent days

President Kabila was inaugurated this week after an election challenge was rejected

Protesters clashed with police after the announcement of the results

CNN  — 

Democratic Republic of Congo security forces have killed more than 24 people and arbitrarily detained dozens more since President Joseph Kabila was announced the winner of the disputed president elections on December 9, Human Rights Watch said Wednesday.

“Those killed include opposition activists and supporters as well as people gathered on the street or even in their homes,” the organization said in a news release.

“These bloody tactics further undermine the electoral process and leave the impression that the government will do whatever it takes to stay in power,” said Anneke Van Woudenberg, a senior researcher for Human Rights Watch, one of the leading independent groups dedicated to human rights issues.

Kabila, the incumbent, was inaugurated Tuesday in Kinshasa after the highest court in the country upheld his re-election, striking down a lawsuit that challenged the validity of the results. International and national election observers, including The Carter Center, have strongly questioned the veracity of the results, citing a lack of credibility and transparency.

“The quality and integrity of the vote tabulation process has varied across the country, including the loss of nearly 2,000 polling station results in Kinshasa,” The Carter Center said. “Based on the detailed results released by (the Independent National Election Commission), it is also evident that multiple locations, notably several Katanga province constituencies, reported impossibly high rates of 99 to 100 percent voter turnout with all, or nearly all, votes going to incumbent President Joseph Kabila.”

Inadequate access for observers at multiple compilation centers around the country and no official access to the national results center in Kinshasa made it impossible for The Carter Center to provide independent verification of the accuracy of the overall results or the degree to which they reflected the will of the Congolese people, it said.

After the announcement of the results, protesters clashed with police in the capital, Kinshasa, with police using tear gas to break up demonstrations.

Human Rights Watch contends at least 24 people were killed by security forces between December 9 and 14 and that police and other security forces appear to be covering up the scale of the killings by quickly removing the bodies.

“The government had instructed hospitals and morgues not to provide information about the number of dead or any details about individuals with bullet wounds to family members, human rights groups, or United Nations personnel, among others,” according to the rights organization, which cited unnamed sources. “Some family members have found the bodies of their loved ones in morgues far outside of Kinshasa, indicating that bodies are being taken to outlying areas.”

The November elections were only the second democratic vote in the country since the end of its civil war in 2003. The Democratic Republic of Congo is still healing from the world’s most deadly conflict since World War II. The 2006 election, which brought Kabila to power, was declared largely free and fair by international observers.

Despite the international economic crisis, the mineral rich country achieved an economic growth rate of 7.2% in 2010, according to the CIA World Fact Book.

CNN’s Sarah Jones and Elizabeth Joseph contributed to this report