Militia Attacks Claim 20 Lives in Eastern DR Congo

Militants killed at least 20 civilians last week in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, a monitoring group said Monday, in the latest massacre in the conflict-torn region.

Suspected rebels from the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) attacked a village in Irumu territory in the eastern province of Ituri on May 11, according to the Kivu Security Tracker (KST), a respected conflict monitor.

Militants killed at least 20 civilians and took another 25 hostage, the monitor said.

Details of the attack remain hazy.

A UN official who declined to be named said militants had killed about 30 people in the same village late on May 12, or in the early hours of May 13, but stressed that not all the details had been verified.

The official also suggested that the ADF was responsible.

Dieudonne Malangay, vice president of a local civil-society group, relayed to AFP a survivor’s account of the attack that was similar to the UN official’s.

AFP was unable to independently confirm either the death toll or the date of the attack.

The ADF, described by the so-called Islamic State as its local affiliate, has been accused of killing thousands of civilians in DR Congo’s troubled east.

In late November, Ugandan troops joined DR Congo’s army in an operation against the ADF, following bomb attacks in the Ugandan capital Kampala that were blamed on the group.

Ituri and neighboring North Kivu have been under an official “state of siege” since May last year, in a bid to crush armed groups that plague the two provinces.

Civilian massacres have continued despite the crackdown, however. Two days before the suspected ADF attack on May 11, suspected fighters from another militia killed about 14 people in Ituri.

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