More than 50 people have been killed in attacks in the troubled northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo, a local source said Monday, with the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebel group suspected of being responsible.
Christophe Munyanderu, from a local NGO working for the respect of human rights in Ituri province, reported the deaths following attacks on several villages.
He said ADF rebels attacked four villages, leaving 19 people dead on Sunday in Irumu territory.
Two other villages were then targeted on Monday, killing another 33 people, he said.
“In total, we count at least 52 civilians were killed between Sunday and Monday,” he said.
The toll from one of the two villages — 18 dead in Apende — was also reported by a military official in the region, speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity.
All the villages attacked are in an area on Ituri’s border with North Kivu province.
It follows the killing of at least 30 people by suspected ADF rebels on the North Kivu side at the end of last week.
Ituri and North Kivu have both been under an official “state of siege” since last May, in a bid to crush armed groups that plague the two provinces.
Despite the crackdown — and cross-border support from Ugandan forces, which began in late November — the ADF’s attacks have continued.