Seven civilians and three soldiers were killed in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Wednesday, January 9 when a militia attacked a military post in the restive east of the country, the army said.
The attack, in Beni region of North Kivu province, was carried out by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), an Islamist-rooted militia operating near the border with Uganda, said Captain Mak Hazukay, a local army spokesperson.
“An army post was targetted by the ADF attack this morning. Three soldiers and seven civilians have been killed. Another two soldiers were wounded,” the officer said.
On Tuesday, the army said eight people were killed by armed men in an overnight incursion in Mavivi in the north of Beni.
The Beni region has been the target of attacks since October 2014 by the Allied Democratic Forces. The ADF militia was created in 1995 by Ugandan Muslim rebels to oppose the government after they were forced out of Uganda by the army.
It operates in the border area in the DRC’s North Kivu province, an area where other armed groups are also active. The government has often blamed the ADF for killings, robberies and kidnappings, but numerous other armed groups operate in the region and sometimes it is unclear who the true assailants are.
The ADF is thought to have killed at least 700 civilians and more than 20 United Nations peacekeepers.
The Democratic Republic of Congo army and troops deployed with the U.N. peacekeeping mission Monusco began an operation against the group in mid-November. Eight U.N. peacekeepers and 12 DRC troops died in a clash with ADF militants near Kididiwe during the joint operation.
The ADF was blamed for the deaths of 17 people who were killed in two attacks in Beni region on December 7 and for killing nine people in an attack in Oicha on December 11.
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.
With reporting from AFP. This post was updated on January 9 with a quote from the army spokesperson.