Militants kill at least 40 villagers in east Congo attacks

TEHRAN, Aug. 31 (MNA) – Suspected militants killed at least 40 civilians in a string of attacks on several villages in the east Democratic Republic of Congo between Thursday and Monday, a local human rights group and a hospital worker said Tuesday.

Assailants believed to be members of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) first targeted a group of villagers from North-Kivu province that had crossed into neighboring Ituri province to look for arable land near the Ituri River on Aug. 25, Rueters reported.

Christophe Munyanderu, the coordinator of the local group Convention for the Respect of Human Rights (CRDH), said ADF fighters had executed more than 40 men, women and children in five villages since Thursday.

“All this under the eyes of the authorities,” said Munyanderu. “We are dying here but nothing is being done.”

The head of the surrounding Babila-Bakaiko locality, Charles Kisubi Endukadi, confirmed rebels had attacked several villages and that most bodies had yet to be recovered.

The Congolese army did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Escalating attacks prompted the government to declare a state of siege in Ituri and North Kivu in April 2021. But the security situation has continued to deteriorate under military rule, United Nations experts said in June.

ZZ/PR

News Code 190852

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