Suspected Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) militants have helped more than 900 inmates to escape from a prison in Beni, in eastern Congo.
The jailbreak happened early Tuesday morning according to local officials.
The town’s mayor, Modeste Bakwanamaha says suspected ADF militants managed to break into the Kangbayi Central prison using welding equipment.
He says only about 110 prisoners were left behind.
“Unfortunately the attackers, who came in large numbers, managed to break the door with electrical equipment,” Bakwanamaha told the media.
Bakwanamaha urged local residents in Beni not to protect the escapees.
The ADF is an Islamist militant group from neighbouring Uganda that has been active in Eastern Congo since the 1990s.
The group is one of the multiple armed groups operating in eastern DRC since the end of the two Congo wars in the 1990s and 2000s that pulled in neighboring Uganda and Rwanda.
In 2019, the DRC’s army launched a campaign against the group that led to an intensification of deadly attacks by the ADF.
Several attacks attributed to the ADF have also been claimed by the ISIL (ISIS) group, although researchers and analysts said there is a lack of hard evidence linking the two groups.
The insecurity has forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes
According to the United Nations, the group has killed over 1000 civilians since the start of 2019.