Suspected ADF rebels kill 17 in east DR Congo

Suspected ADF militants on Sunday killed at least 17 people in eastern DR Congo, local officials said, only days after the Islamist-aligned group conducted another massacre in the troubled region.

The Allied Democratic Forces (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.

The latest attack occurred in the early hours of Sunday at Kirindera in North Kivu province’s Beni territory, according to village chief Katembo Kahongya.

“We have 17 dead and four wounded,” he told AFP, adding that the militants had also set fire to buildings.

“They used bladed weapons and fire to execute the population,” Kahongya said.

Former North Kivu Governor Carly Nzanzu Kasivita also tweeted that suspected ADF fighters had killed 19 people at the village, noting the figure was provisional.

AFP was unable to independently confirm the death toll.

Kirindera resident Mukondano Kambale said the militants killed people in a hotel and health clinic before being chased away.

“It’s fear and desolation in the centre of Kirindera,” he said.

The attack comes after suspected ADF rebels killed over 40 people in twin attacks in neighbouring North Kivu villages on Wednesday, according to officials and residents.

A joint Congolese-Ugandan military operation targeting the militia in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has been underway since late 2021, but attacks have nonetheless continued.

Last week, the United States offered a reward of up to $5 million for information concerning ADF leader Seka Musa Baluku.