At least nine people have been killed in an attack on a village in DR Congo that is controlled by military forces sent in by the East African Community (EAC) to curb violence in the country’s east, local sources said Sunday.
The Marangara village in North Kivu province’s Rutshuru territory was attacked by armed men overnight, residents said, the latest attack in the restive region in recent weeks.
“There are nine dead, of which two are in military uniforms, and four injured but also five homes burned,” a local leader told AFP, requesting anonymity for security reasons.
He added that the identity of the attackers was not yet known.
A civil society leader, also speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP that “the attackers were M23 rebels,” the Tutsi-led militia accused of multiple atrocities against civilians in the region.
“The preliminary toll is nine dead, including women and children, but also two suspected FDLR members,” he added, a majority Hutu militia founded by members responsible for the genocide of Tutsis in Rwanda in 1994.
The FDLR is seen as a threat by the Rwandan government, which has used its existence to justify past interventions in DR Congo.
A hospital source gave a toll of 10 dead, after one victim later died of injuries.
M23 has captured swathes of territory in North Kivu since taking up arms again in late 2021 after years of dormancy.
Independent UN experts, the DRC government, and several Western nations including the United States and France accuse Rwanda of actively backing the M23, despite denials from Kigali.