Rebels kill nine people in eastern DR Congo

Suspected rebels killed at least nine people in twin attacks in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, officials said Wednesday, in the latest act of violence in the troubled region.

According to local civil society leader Pepin Paluku Kavota, militants from the feared Armed Democratic Forces (ADF) faction killed six civilians in an attack on the town of Beni in North Kivu province on Tuesday evening.

He told reporters on Wednesday that the militants targeted an area just a kilometer away from army headquarters in a city of 400,000 people.

Among the dead were a 15-year-old boy and a 90-year-old woman, said Kavota, who urged security forces to “redouble their efforts.”

That same night, gunmen also killed at least three people in an attack on a village in neighboring Ituri province.

“This is a preliminary figure,” Gaston Candole, a local civil society figure, told AFP.

The village is also close to a Congolese military base.

The ADF, which the Islamic State calls its Central African offshoot, operates in both North Kivu and Ituri.

The group is one of the most brutal of the more than 120 militias that roam eastern Congo and has been accused of massacres of Congolese civilians and terrorist attacks in neighboring Uganda.

The DRC and Uganda launched a joint offensive against the ADF in November 2021 to crush the insurgents, but violence against civilians continues.