The attackers set fire to houses and opened fire on civilians during a night raid in the Beu district of Beni.
At least 10 people were killed in a night raid in the city of Beni in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. The attack was blamed on the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) armed group.
Residents said on Thursday that a group of attackers set fire to several houses in the city’s Beu district in the middle of the night, opened fire on people as they left the buildings, and attacked some people with machetes.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but officials blamed the ADF for the attack in the Rwangoma community.
“Overnight, the enemies of the ADF launched an attack. We lost about 10 civilians,” Lieutenant Anthony Muarushai told AFP. An Agence France-Presse reporter saw 10 dead bodies in the mortuary of Beni General Hospital.
With reports of missing persons, people are worried that the death toll may rise.
In the mineral-rich eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, there are estimated to be the most violent ADF of 122 armed groups, many of which are remnants of two regional wars between 1996 and 2003 — never claiming responsibility for the attack.
Glooire Kivetya, the chairman of the agency representing the Beu civil society group, also blamed the ADF for the attack. Kivu Security Tracker, a monitoring organization, also stated that ADF is suspected.
At least 11 civilians were killed in the Rwangoma community last night (#I Town, North Kivu). Some people are still missing in the interim report.This #ADF being doubted. #Congo democratic republic pic.twitter.com/GFPDzWXMAU
-Kivu Security Barometer (@KivuSecurity) July 1, 2021
Thousands were killed
ADF appeared in western Uganda in the 1990s, and its declared goal was to establish a so-called “Islamic State”. It has established a base in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo since 1995.
According to statistics compiled by the Catholic Church of the Democratic Republic of Congo, since 2013, the Allied Democratic Forces have caused at least 6,000 deaths.
KST stated that since 2017, the ADF has killed more than 1,200 civilians in the Beni area of North Kivu alone.
On March 10, the United States referred to ADF as a “foreign terrorist organization” and stated that its leader Moussa Baruku had sworn allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS) armed group.
But experts are still uncertain about the degree of connection between ADF and ISIL.
In May, the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Felix Tsisekedi declared that North Kivu and neighboring Ituri province had entered a “state of martial law” to curb the growing insecurity.
In this case, senior civilian officials have been replaced by military officers.