Over 40 people have been killed in twin attacks by suspected Allied Democratic Forces’ (ADF) militants in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
The authorities said latest bloodshed across the turbulent region happened late Wednesday and early Thursday, according to to AFP.
The ADF, which the Islamic State group claims as its central African affiliate, is one of the deadliest armed militias in eastern Congo, accused of slaughtering thousands of civilians.
Fighters from the group attacked the neighbouring villages of Mukondi and Mausa, in the Beni territory of North Kivu province, during Wednesday evening and the early hours of Thursday, officials said.
“It’s total desolation,” said Kalunga Meso, a local administrator.
He told AFP that 38 people had been killed in Mukondi and eight in Mausa, stressing the death toll was provisional.
Mumbere Arsene, a local civil-society figure, said 37 people had been killed in Mukondi and eight in Mausa.
“All the dead people were killed with knives,” he said.
Dozens of armed groups roam eastern Congo, a legacy of regional wars that flared in the 1990s and 2000s.
The ADF is among the most violent and has been accused of a string of bomb attacks and civilian massacres.
A joint Congolese-Ugandan military operation targeting the militia in the region has been underway since late 2021, but the attacks continue.