Suspected Islamist militants killed at least 21 civilians in an overnight attack on a village in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, a local human rights group and a witness said on Monday.
Fighters believed to belong to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) attacked the village of Masambo overnight from Sunday to Monday, said Ricardo Rupande, president of the Ruenzori sector civil society group.
The village lies about 40 km east of the city of Beni, in the district of Ruenzori.
The ADF is a Ugandan militia that has been active in eastern Congo since the 1990s. It has been blamed for thousands of deaths since a resurgence in 2013.
“It’s a miracle that I survived. We were already in bed when we heard the sound of outside boots and bullets. It was after hearing the cries of the victims that we understood that it was a rebel raid,’” said Kakule Saanane, a resident of Masambo.
He and Ricardo Rupande both said 21 bodies had been found so far, but the death toll could rise.
Congolese army spokesman Antony Mwalushayi said the army would make a statement after completing its security assessment in the area.
Uganda sent more than 1,000 troops to Congo in December for joint operations against the ADF.