Rebels killed at least seven civilians and abducted 15 others, including children, in overnight raids in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, civilian and military sources said on Sunday, November 4.
Militants staged two raids on Saturday night in the North Kivu region bordering Uganda, Teddy Kataliko, leader of the civilian administration in Beni district, told AFP.
According to his account, rebels at Mangboko burnt a lorry driver in his vehicle and killed six other civilians, while in Oicha, they killed one person and abducted 15 others, putting the death toll at eight.
Kataliko blamed the Allied Democratic Forces militia for the attacks.
Oicha is around 20 km (12 miles) north of Beni.
Beni district administrator Donat Kibwana said seven people were killed and 15 people were abducted, including 10 children.
Army spokesman Captain Mak Hazukay also put the death toll at seven.
Kataliko denounced the army as ineffective, saying: “It is not normal that the army cannot manage to keep the population safe,” but Hazukay insisted that soldiers had reacted quickly to stop the rebel incursions.
The ADF is a militia created by Muslim rebels to oppose Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni but which also operates in the DRC.
The group has been in the east of the country since 1995 and is accused by the U.N. and Congolese authorities of committing a series of civilian massacres since 2014. They are thought to have killed at least 700 civilians and 15 Tanzanian peacekeepers.
However, a 2017 report by the Congo Research Group at New York University concluded that Congolese Army commanders were responsible for orchestrating massacres in Beni from 2014 to 2016.
The ADF has been blamed for a recent string of attacks in the region.
Overnight on October 20, at least 11 people were killed and 15 others were abducted in an overnight raid in Matete near Beni.
Four soldiers and two civilians were killed in an October 4 attack in Beni that is thought to have targeted General Marcel Mbangu, a Congolese Army operational commander in the country’s east.
An overnight attack on September 28 left two Congolese Army soldiers and two women dead in North Kivu province.
Local anger has surged with the latest attacks, directed at repeated failures by the authorities to curb the violence.
With reporting from AFP