Suspected Islamist rebels kill at least 10 in Democratic Republic of Congo

BENI, Democratic Republic of Congo — Suspected Islamist rebels killed at least 10 civilians in an attack Friday near the city of Beni in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, local authorities and a United Nations source said. 

The assailants fired guns at people working in fields in Mulekera commune outside Beni, Mulekera Mayor Ngongo Mayanga said Saturday. 

Seven bodies have been collected so far, including those of three women, with five more victims reported elsewhere, he said. 

“Certainly, there are other bodies that we will find as the search continues,” he said by phone, blaming the Allied Democratic Forces rebel group. 

The ADF originates from neighboring Uganda. Now based in eastern Congo, it has pledged allegiance to Islamic State and mounts frequent attacks, further destabilizing a region where many militant groups are active. 

A witness to the latest attack said he was working in a field when he heard bullets shortly after parting from his daughter-in-law. 

“My daughter-in-law went in the opposite direction, but unfortunately that’s when she was killed,” he said, describing how he fled into the forest and spent the night there out of fear of the attackers. 

Decades of conflict between the army and numerous rebel groups have destabilized eastern Congo and fueled a long-running humanitarian crisis. 

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