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12 killed in east DR Congo militia attack

12 killed in east DR Congo militia attack

International Desk

Suspected Islamist militants hacked 12 people to death in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo on Thursday, local officials said, in the latest attack in the troubled region.

Fighters from the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) group launched an attack early Thursday evening on the village of Bukokoma, in North Kivu province's Beni territory, according to local civil-society representative Ricardo Rupande.

The Islamic State group claims the ADF as its central African affiliate. It is one of the deadliest militias in eastern Congo, accused of slaughtering thousands of civilians.

Katanga Matete, an administrator in the Bukokoma area, told AFP that the militants "were opening doors and decapitating people with hatchets and machetes."

Twelve people were killed, he said.

Albert Ndungo, a local Red Cross official, also said that 12 people were killed "by bladed weapons," including four women and four children.

AFP was unable to independently confirm the details of the attack. Thursday's violence follows a similar attack in Beni territory last week, which saw nine people killed.

Over 50 people have been killed in Beni territory in May alone, according to UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

A joint Congolese-Ugandan military operation targeting the ADF in eastern Congo has been underway since late 2021, but attacks have continued.

Much of the volatile region is prey to armed groups, a legacy of regional wars that flared during the 1990s and early 2000s.

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