Suspected Ugandan rebels killed at least two people in an overnight raid on a village in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, officials and the army said Monday.
“The village of Ntombi in the Beni territory was the scene of an attack by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). Two bodies have just been found, decapitated by machetes,” territorial administrator Amisi Kalonda told AFP.
“The health centre in the village was completely looted,” Kalonda added, reached by phone from Goma, the chief town in the troubled North Kivu province.
Ntombi lies about 40 kilometres (25 miles) northeast of Beni in a part of North Kivu where the rebels from neighbouring Uganda are blamed for attacks and sometimes massacres.
The army gave a higher toll for the attack on Ntombi.
Lieutenant Mak Hazukay, a military spokesman, said that “these terrorists killed six people with machetes and three people have been declared missing up until now”.
The ADF launched a rebellion against Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni more than 20 years ago, but were forced to pull back into the DRC.
Active in the east since 1995, the movement is accused of serious and repeated human rights violations while financing its activities by trafficking in tropical timber.
The United Nations, which maintains a peacekeeping mission of almost 20,000 troops and police in the vast central African country, accuses the ADF of killing more than 500 civilians in massacres and attacks in Beni territory and the Ituri region since October 2014.
Since last September, ADF forces have been blamed for a series of attacks with automatic weapons on National Highway 4, between Beni and the frontier with Ituri province to the north.
The rebels have targeted civilian vehicles and passersby as well as army outposts.
Like the rest of eastern DRC, the Beni region has been torn by conflict for more than 20 years.
The fighting is fuelled by ethnic differences and claims to land, along with bids for control over valuable natural resources and rivalry between regional powers.
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