At least eight civilians were killed in the latest attack blamed on the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s northeastern Beni territory, a local official said Saturday.
The overnight attack took place in several villages in the Ruwenzori sector, including Bulongo, Kazarahoyo, and Kidungu, in North Kivu province, according to Willy Malikidogo, chief of Kilya locality.
At Kazarahoyo, the attackers killed five civilians while in Bulongo, two people were killed, all men, he told reporters.
In another incident, a motorcyclist was shot dead in Kidungu, Malikidogo added.
“We must not give in to the enemy’s maneuver. We must join forces to fight them. Let us collaborate with the army and denounce any suspicious cases,” he urged people.
Meleki Mulala, a coordinator for civil society in the region, said the death toll could rise.
The attackers set fire to a vehicle that was parked in Bulongo before abducting three children and looting several cows from residents, Mulala said.
Last week, 18 civilians were killed and several houses were set on fire in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in an attack attributed to the ADF rebel group in various villages in Beni territory.
President Felix Tshisekedi declared a “state of siege” in May in Ituri and North Kivu, replacing senior civilian officials in the state with army officers in a bid to curb growing insecurity.
Some 944 civilians have been killed in North Kivu and Ituri since the state of siege was declared, according to Kivu Security Tracker, a monitor focused on violence in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.