The attackers set fire to houses and opened fire on civilians in a night raid in Beu district in Beni.
At least ten people have been killed in a night raid in the eastern city of Beni in the Democratic Republic of Congo in an attack attributed to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) armed group.
Neighbors said Thursday that a group of assailants had set fire to several houses in the middle of the night in the city’s Beu district, firing on people as they left the buildings and attacked some with machetes.
There were no immediate claims of responsibility, but officials blamed ADF for the attack on the Rwangoma neighborhood.
“During the night there was an attack by the enemies of the ADF. We have lost about ten civilians, “Lt. Anthony Mualushayi told AFP news agency. An AFP correspondent saw ten bodies in the Beni General Hospital mortuary.
With reports of missing people, it is feared that the death toll could rise.
The ADF, the most violent of some 122 estimated mineral-rich armed groups in the eastern DRC, many of them a legacy of two regional wars from 1996 to 2003, has never claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Gloire Kivetya, chairman of a body representing Beu civil society groups, also blamed the attack on the ADF. The Kivu Security Tracker monitoring group also said it was suspected that ADF was being done.
– Kivu security barometer (@KivuSecurity) July 1, 2021
The ADF, which emerged in the 1990s in western Uganda with the stated goal of creating the so-called “Islamic State”, has established its base in the eastern DRC since 1995.
According to a count compiled by the Catholic Church in the DRC, the ADF has been responsible for at least 6,000 deaths since 2013.
The KST says the ADF has killed more than 1,200 civilians in the Beni area of North Kivu province alone since 2017 alone.
On March 10, the United States called the ADF a “foreign terrorist organization” and said its leader Musa Baluku had pledged allegiance to the ISIL armed group (ISIS).
But experts are still unsure of the scope of the links between the ADF and ISIL.
In May, DRC President Felix Tshisekedi proclaimed a “state of siege” in North Kivu and neighboring Ituri province with the aim of curbing growing insecurity.
Under this, senior civilian officials have been replaced by army officers.