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Islamist rebels (ADF) killed 4 soldiers DR Cong soldiers including an officer at the rank of Major and wounded some seriously, during fierce fighting on Friday night near the Semiliki River North Kivu eastern DR Congo, army officials said.
North Kivu sits on the border with Uganda. The ADF, rebels originally from Uganda, have been waging a campaign of violence in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo for years.
“Following the discovery of ADF camps near the Semuliki River, the FARDC used combat helicopters and field artillery,” the army said in a Saturday statement.
It added: “13 ADF were neutralized, 4 soldiers died including a senior officer of the rank of major, company commander.”
Also Speaking to local media, deputy army spokesperson Gen Sylvian Ekenge said the fighting is part of routine operations that are being carried out to track out down rebels mostly the ADF that have become a menace and have gone on a killing rampage.
“The people of Beni know that we are intensifying operations against rebels in the area are at war with the rebels and they trust us. What we are asking them is to trust us and we will soon bring peace and whether these rebels like it or not peace will return,” Gen Ekenge said.
Dozens of armed groups are active in mineral-rich eastern Congo. Attacks have caused tens of thousands of people to flee their homes and complicated health workers’ efforts to contain an Ebola virus outbreak in the region.
DR Congo army announced its campaign against the ADF on October 30. The rebels are accused of having killed more than a thousand people in the Beni region, in the northern part of North Kivu, since 2014.
A local civil society group known as CEPADHO says ADF rebels have killed more than 300 people in the Beni region since October alone
With 150 civilians killed over November and December in reprisal according to official sources and local groups.