Thirteen people in the eastern DR Congo have been killed in a suspected attack by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a militia that the US says is linked to the Islamic State group, local officials said Wednesday.
The massacre occurred late Tuesday in the village of Kisima-Vutotolia, 30 kilometers (18 miles) from the city of Beni on the highway leading to Uganda, said territorial administrator Donat Kibuana.
“The situation in Kisima is very tragic. There was a raid by the ADF around 7:00 pm last night. Thirteen people lost their lives,” he said. “Several inhabitants are missing,” he added.
“We have already recovered 13 bodies. These people were bound and decapitated,” an aid worker told AFP.
Roger Masimango, a representative of civil society groups in the Rwenzori area, said the village chief in Kisima and his wife were among those who had been killed. “Two children aged four and two months were found alive next to the corpses of their parents,” Masimango said.
The ADF is the deadliest of scores of armed militias that roam the mineral-rich east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Many are a legacy of two regional wars from 1996 to 2003.
More than 500 civilians have been killed in the provinces of North and South Kivu alone since the start of the year, according to an AFP toll based on NGO figures and local sources.
The ADF is a historically Ugandan Islamist group that has holed up in eastern DRC since 1995.
On March 11, the United States said the ADF were linked to the so-called Islamic State (IS) group, and were known as ISIS-DRC or Madina at Tauheed Wau Mujahedeen.
The ADF has been accused of murdering more than 1,000 civilians since November 2019 in and around Beni, a city of around a quarter of a million people in North Kivu.