Suspected Islamic State group-affiliated ADF rebels have killed at least nine villagers in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, a local monitor said Friday.
The volatile and mineral-rich region along the border with Uganda has been wracked by increasing violence involving rebel militias that has ensnared neighbouring countries.
The Kivu Security Tracker (KST), a network of observers based in DRC’s restive east, said several others were missing after the attack, which also left one person seriously injured.
“The ADF are suspected,” the KST said.
The raid targeted Museya Kanyamutsutsa village in Beni territory, according to Delphin Maleki, a local activist, who confirmed the death toll of at least nine.
He said that in addition to the suspected hostages, the attackers took away cattle and equipment.
“It all started around 8:00 pm (1900 GMT). We were surprised by the ADF while we were in our houses,” said village resident Socrates Mumbere.
“The toll is 10 dead — six men and four women,” he said.
“Goats, chickens, clothes were stolen” and shops vandalised, he added.
“We condemn these perpetual killings, we demand the security of our people,” Maleki said, adding that security forces had not reacted in time.
He said Congolese and Ugandan troops were stationed just three kilometres (two miles) from the site of the attack.
Joint operations have been carried out by the two armies in the northern part of North Kivu and the neighbouring province of Ituri since late 2021 against the ADF.
Originally the group was made up of mainly Muslim Ugandan rebels.
Since the mid-1990s it has been mostly active in eastern DRC, where they are accused of massacring thousands of civilians.
They pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group in 2019 and are also accused of carrying out jihadist attacks on Ugandan soil.
Several other raids by suspected ADF rebels have been reported since early May in Beni.
The KST said at least 15 civilians were killed on the evening of May 27 in three villages and about 15 others on May 19 at another location.