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Dozens killed in DRC suspected Islamist rebel attack

June 13, 2024

The attack in eastern Congo was blamed on Islamic State-linked rebels. It echoed a similar attack last week in the same province, where at least 80 people were killed.

Photo taken on April 11, 2024 shows soldiers of the Congolese Army and their pick-up truck vehicle on patrol in Goma, North Kivu province, eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
DRC forces are battling various rebel groups in the east, including Islamic State affiliates and the Rwanda-backed M23 groupImage: Wang Guansen/Xinhua/picture alliance

At least 42 people were killed in an attack in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, with Islamist rebels being the likely culprits.

The attack on the village of Mayikengo in Lubero territory in the eastern North Kivu province took place on Wednesday.

Last week, over 80 were killed in suspected Islamist rebel attacks on villages in the east.

What do we know about the latest attack?

Lubero administrator Alain Kiwewa Mitela blamed the attack on the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), speaking to both the Reuters and AFP news agencies. The rebel group, an Islamic State affiliate, started as a Ugandan insurgency. It has operated from eastern Congo for nearly three decades.

The initial death toll was 25, but it seemed to have climbed throughout Thursday.

A local official told Reuters that the assailants had asked residents to gather in a market for a meeting. They then attacked the gathered crowd using firearms and machetes.

A civil society leader, Seba Paluku, told the French AFP news agency that the recovered bodies included some that were "tied up" and "decapitated."

He said he had gone to the site with soldiers. "The bodies are lying still on the ground, there's no means of transporting them because vehicles can't get there."

The latest attack brings the death toll due to ADF attacks in the DRC this month to nearly 150, AFP said.

Separately, DRC authorities are also battling the Rwanda-linked M23 rebels, who also mostly operate in the eastern region of the country.

DR Congo conflict: Who are the main players?

rmt/msh (AFP, Reuters)