Ten dead in militia attack in eastern DR Congo

Congolese soldiers patrol near Beni in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.PHOTO/AP
Congolese soldiers patrol in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.PHOTO/AP

Ten people died when suspected members of a notorious militia attacked a market in eastern DR Congo’s Ituri province, the military said on Wednesday.

“Armed men identified as ADF (Allied Democratic Forces) on Tuesday killed 10 civilians in Mambelenga market in a raid that occurred in broad daylight,” Lieutenant Jules Ngondo, the army’s provincial spokesman, said.

Rachel Taruwayo, the senior administrative official of Irumu Territory, said seven men and three women were killed, causing local people to flee in panic.

However, two assailants died when they were set upon by young people as the gang headed into the bush with looted possessions, she said.

Two AK-47 assault rifles were recovered, she added.

The ADF militia are a historically Ugandan Islamic group that has holed up in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo since 1995.

It has the reputation of being the bloodiest of an estimated 122 armed groups that haunt the eastern provinces of DRC, many of which are a legacy of two regional wars.

The ADF has been blamed for the killings of more than 800 civilians over the past year.

Its main area of operations is North Kivu, and its attacks typically happen at night and in remote areas.

However, the group has split into small, highly mobile units, pushing into neighbouring Ituri, since the armed forces launched a major offensive against it in October 2019.

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