At least 10 people were killed in two attacks my militants in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, sources said on Wednesday.
According to UN radio Okapi, seven people were killed in the northeastern city of Beni, while at least three others were killed near Oicha, located some 30 kilometers away.
The late Tuesday attacks have been blamed on the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a militia group originally from Uganda. The DR Congo army is carrying out an operation in the country’s northeastern region to root out militant groups including the ADF.
Local sources also said at least 10 people were kidnapped by the militants.
“There’s been non-stop firing of heavy- and light-calibre weapons,” AFP quotes a Catholic cleric in Beni. “I don’t know if we are going to get out alive.”
At least 60 people are reported killed by the ADF since the government troops began the operation to weed the militants out in late October.
Analysts believe the killings are warnings to local residents not to collaborate with the government troops.
Beni has long been dogged by militia violence.
The fighting has not only posed a challenge in the fight against Ebola in the DR Congo, but has also created a humanitarian crisis as aid workers are unable to access some affected parts.
The army is however confident it will root out the militants.