West News Wire: During a nocturnal attack on a community in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, at least 36 people were slain.

On Thursday, a local official and the head of a civil society organization said they believed the attackers belonged to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), an armed organization from Uganda based in eastern DRC that has sworn allegiance to ISIL (ISIS) and frequently conducts deadly raids on villages.

The village of Mukondi, which is located in the North Kivu province and is 30 kilometers (19 miles) south of the city of Beni and is plagued by rebel activity and has been governed by the military since 2021 in an effort to restore order, was the target of the raid.

Carly Nzanzu Kasivita, the provincial governor, stated on Twitter that at least 36 persons had been killed in the attack, which began on Wednesday evening.

The head of a local civil society group, Mumbere Limbadu Arsene, gave a provisional death toll of 44, including women, children and the elderly, and said several villagers were still missing.

“The modus operandi suggests it was the ADF because no bullets were fired,” he told Reuters news agency via telephone, adding some victims died trapped in their homes after attackers set them ablaze.

The ADF often wages attacks using machetes and hatchets.

A local army spokesperson, Antony Mwalushayi, confirmed there had been an attack but did not give a death toll.

Kakuke Kilalo Emmanuel, a resident of the nearby village of Kalunguta, said he went to Mukondi on Wednesday but turned back after he saw people in a state of panic as the attack was unfolding.

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Many Kalunguta residents have fled out of fear for their safety, he added.

The ADF was formed in 1995 by a coalition of rebel forces including the Uganda Muslim Liberation Army and the National Army for the Liberation of Uganda to fight against the Yoweri Museveni administration.

It is among the most violent groups in the DRC, and has been accused of a string of bomb attacks and civilian massacres. According to the Catholic Church in the country, the ADF has killed about 6,000 civilians since 2013.

US-based monitor the Kivu Security Tracker blames the group for more than 1,200 deaths in the Beni area alone since 2017.

The DRC government declared a state of siege in North Kivu and neighbouring Ituri province in 2021 in an attempt to stem rampant violence in the country’s vast mineral-rich east.

But the killings and rebel activity have not shown any sign of abating.


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