Death Toll Rises To 41 In Attack By Islamist Rebels On Eastern Congo Villages

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A spokesman to the Congolese army has said the death toll in Friday’s attack by suspected Islamist rebels on villages in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo had risen to 41

Lieutenant-colonel Mak Hazukay, in Congo’s North Kivu province, alleged that the attack had been carried out by members of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).

The ADF which is now based in eastern Congo, has pledged allegiance to Islamic State and mounts frequent attacks, further destabilising a region where many militant groups are active.

It originates from neighbouring Uganda and is alleged to be behind another assault that killed at least 16 people this week.

According to a local official, Fabien Kakule who told Reuters in an interview said the armed men had used guns and machetes to attack residents of villages in Beni territory overnight on Friday.

Vusindi Nick Junior, a local civil society leader, said a local health centre had been set ablaze and nine people injured in addition to the 41 killed.

EU foreign affairs spokeswoman Nabila Massrali said: “Several dozen civilians have been victims of the ADF in eastern DRC in recent days. Terrorist groups are taking advantage of the chaos to expand their hold on an already very unstable region.”

“Urgent need to accelerate efforts to find a political solution,” she added.

Julien Paluku, a former governor of North Kivu, said on X that Congo’s national government needed to do more to address insecurity in the east.

“People have the impression, rightly or wrongly, of being abandoned to their sad fate,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Congolese government has not yet made any statement on the attack and a government spokesman has not respond to requests for comments.41