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Seven killed in eastern Congo by Ugandan rebels


Flares are launched by DRCongo Police forces / AFP PHOTO / Mustafa MULOPWE

Flares are launched by DRCongo Police forces / AFP PHOTO / Mustafa MULOPWE

Seven people were killed overnight in an attack in eastern DR Congo blamed on Ugandan rebel group the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), the army said Thursday.

“The ADF killed seven people and burned down houses” in Kasinga in the Beni region, army spokesman Mak Hazukay told AFP, adding that fighting between soldiers and the rebels was ongoing.

Local official Gilbert Kambale said 15 houses had been set on fire and five people were reported missing.

The Allied Democratic Forces, a partly Islamist armed group of Ugandan origin, is accused of a litany of human rights abuses and being involved with kidnappings and smuggling.

The region around Beni is plagued by various rebel groups with the violence fuelled by ethnic rivalry and disputes over the right to exploit local mining and forest resources.

It has witnessed a series of massacres that have claimed more than 700 lives since 2014.

In March, a report by the Congo Research Group at New York University claimed that soldiers from the regular army had also participated in some of the killings.

The violence in the east adds to existing tension in the country, where fears are mounting that President Joseph Kabila plans to hold on to power after his second mandate expires in December.

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