Rebels linked to the Islamic State group attacked a village in DR Congo’s volatile east killing at least six people, local authorities said Tuesday.
Hundreds of people have been killed in rebel and militia attacks in the gold-rich Ituri province, where the IS-linked Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) also operate.
“The ADF rebels entered Makumo village on Monday night” in the Mambasa area, Gilbert Sivamwenda, a local community leader, told AFP.
“This morning we found six bodies,” he said, underlining that the toll could be higher as they did not go far out into the bush to look for bodies as the area was not secure.
“The army arrived when the rebels had already left,” said Tonge Sorone, a young local.
The ADF, originally insurgents in Uganda, gained a foothold in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo in the 1990s and have since been accused of killing thousands of civilians, becoming the deadliest of scores of outlawed forces in the deeply troubled region.
Since 2019, some ADF attacks in eastern DRC have been claimed by the Islamic State group, which describes the fighters as a local offshoot, the Islamic State Central Africa Province.
More than 150 people were killed in Ituri in the first half of April, according to the United Nations. It said nearly 500 people had been killed there between December and March.
Ituri and the neighboring North Kivu province have been under a so-called “state of siege” since 2021, with security officials running the local governments in a bid to stamp out the violence.
The DRC and Uganda also launched a joint offensive that year to drive the ADF out of their Congolese strongholds, but the measures have so far failed to end the group’s attacks.