Twelve civilians and a soldier were killed overnight in eastern DR Congo in an attack blamed on rebels of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a local official said Monday.
The attack occurred in an area of North Kivu province near neighboring Uganda dubbed the “Triangle of Death” where the ADF has killed 570 civilians since the army launched a crackdown against them in November last year, according to experts.
Earlier, local officials had given the death toll as 11.
But Beni administrator Donat Kibwana told AFP the head of the sector had said that 12 civilians were now known to have been killed.
The militia, which originated in the 1990s as a Ugandan Muslim rebel group, is one of more than 100 armed groups that trouble the eastern provinces of the vast Democratic Republic of Congo.
As militia violence and inter-communal conflict in eastern #DRC continues (particularly #Ituri and #NorthKivu) – and new tensions arise in the #Kasais – @MONUSCO recorded 141 grave violations against children last month. https://t.co/A5kNbQYpBm
— Jaclyn Streitfeld (@JaclynGCR2P) September 16, 2020
The attacks are apparently reprisals for the army operation or designed to warn locals against collaborating with the army.
Kibwana told AFP that the assailants had reached within 400 meters (437 yards) of a government office in the town of Mbau when they launched the attack.
“The enemy are the ADF,” he said, adding that another three people had been wounded and several more went missing.
Mbau civil society leader Omar Kalikia said at least eight of those killed were women, adding that it was a provisional toll.
He told AFP that the attack began around 8:30 pm and lasted two and a half hours, with three homes torched and “all the property taken away” including goats.