At least 10 people were Sunday evening killed in an attack by the Allied Democratic forces (ADF) militants in the town of Mbau, located 20 kilometers north of Beni town (North Kivu).
The ADF armed group, which was formed in 1986 by fighters based in Uganda, has long been active along the border and, in recent years, has been blamed for a wave of killings in the region.
During the past 30 months, intensified ADF attacks have killed at least 1000 people, according to the United Nations, which says the assaults may amount to crimes against humanity.
According to local civil society groups, the ADF militants carried out two simultaneous attacks in two neighbourhoods in Mbau, the capital of Beni-Mbau sector.
“The first attack took place specifically in Kitoho, where nine people, including five women were shot dead, other victims were killed with clubs,” said Esdras Mathe, the youth leader in Mbau.
“The last victim was executed in Linzo,not far from the Beni-Mbau sector office, two houses were also set on fire and cattle were taken away,” he added.
According to local leaders the number of killed are expected to rise since more than 10 people are missing with the possibility of many having been kidnapped by the militants.
The attack comes just after 48 hours the army chief of staff of the Congolese army visited
The attack by ADF combatants recorded in Beni, 48 hours after Gen Celestine Mbala the army chief of staff of Congolese army visited the area.
The ADF is one of the multiple armed groups operating in eastern DRC, a legacy 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.