Attacks believed to have been perpetrated by a notorious rebel group have killed nine civilians in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, local sources said.
Allied Democratic Forces rebels entered the village of Kayera near the Ugandan border overnight Saturday to Sunday and killed six people, including two children, local civil society leader Jacques Kisembo told AFP.
A father later died in hospital from his injuries, taking the toll to seven, he added.
“We don’t understand this situation: how did the ADF reach our village while Congolese and Ugandan soldiers are present in the region?” he said.
In the neighboring village of Kyabohe, ADF members killed two civilians, village chief Balibuka Bahemuka told AFP.
Ugandan military reinforcements arrived and Congolese soldiers were pursuing the rebels in the bush, he added.
The Democratic Republic of Congo launched a joint military operation with Uganda in November 2021 to quash the ADF, one of dozens of armed groups that operate in the volatile east of the country.
The ADF, claimed by the Islamic State group as its central African branch, is blamed for civilian massacres in Congo and terrorist attacks in neighboring Uganda.
Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi placed the eastern provinces of North Kivu and Ituri under a state of siege last year in a bid to stem the violence, with military officials replacing civilian administrators.
But the measure has failed to stop attacks against civilians by the ADF.