Nine civilians were killed on Sunday in the eastern DR Congo region of Beni in another attack blamed on the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) militia, according to local sources.
The attackers fled after a gunfight with army troops, according to Anthony Mualushayi, a regional army spokesman.The fighters “burned down some houses” and people have fled, said Donat Kibwana, the region’s administrator, adding that there were “some wounded on the military side”.
Local official Bozi Sindiwako told AFP that two women and seven men were killed.
The ADF is accused of killing more than 400 civilians in six months in retaliation for a military offensive launched in October against their bases.
More than 1,000 civilians have died in attacks blamed on the ADF in the Beni region since October 2014. They often target farmers returning from the fields or at home in their villages at night.
The mainly Muslim movement originated in neighbouring Uganda, opposed to the rule of President Yoweri Museveni. In 1995 they crossed the border into DR Congo, which became its base of operations.
“Barbaric acts” are being committed by militiamen in Beni and elsewhere in eastern DR Congo, the government said at a cabinet meeting on Friday.The government accuses the ADF as well as another armed group, CODECO, of massacring hundreds of civilians in the neighbouring Ituri province further north.
The army reported Sunday the “neutralisation” of 17 fighters from CODECO, a political-religious sect that claims to defend the interests of the Lendu ethnic group.