No fewer than eight civilians including relatives of soldiers were killed in an overnight incursion by armed men in the volatile eastern DR Congo, the army said on Tuesday.
“Eight people (were) killed including four family members of soldiers” in the commune of Mavivi in the north of the Beni region, regional army spokesman Mak Hazukay told AFP. Police put the death toll at 10, after initially reporting eight.
The Beni region has been the target of attacks since October 2014 by the Ugandan Allied Democratic Forces, a shadowy Islamist-rooted group that arose in western Uganda in 1995 under the leadership of Jamil Mukulu, a Christian turned Muslim.
Forced out of Uganda, it operates in the border area in the DRC’s North Kivu province, an area where other armed groups are also active.
It has been blamed for recruiting and using child soldiers, killing hundreds of civilians since 2014, as well as 15 Tanzanian peacekeepers who died in an attack in December 2017.
Elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo on December 30 were cancelled in Beni, officially because of insecurity and the ongoing Ebola epidemic in the region