11 Civilians Killed in Militant Attack in Eastern DR Congo

Mon Nov 13 2023
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BENI: At least 11 civilians were killed in a militant attack in conflict-ridden eastern DR Congo, according to the army. The attack, attributed to militants linked to the Islamic State group, targeted the village of Kitsanga in the Watalinga area of North Kivu province on Sunday night, Captain Antony Mualushayi, an army spokesman confirmed to AFP news agency.

The assault led to the tragic loss of 11 civilian lives before the intervention of soldiers, who reportedly “neutralized” six militants. The death toll is provisional, and independent verification of the details remains challenging.

Odette Zawadi, a civil society leader in Watalinga, reported a higher casualty figure, stating that 22 people had been killed. She added that the village is now mostly empty, with many residents seeking refuge on the Ugandan side of the border.

Militant Insurgency in DR Congo

The attack occurred near the border with Uganda, in an area long plagued by the activities of the IS-linked Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) group. The ADF established a presence in the region in the 1990s.

Militias have been a persistent challenge in eastern DRC for decades, stemming from the legacy of regional conflicts in the 1990s and 2000s. Since 2019, some ADF attacks have been claimed by the Islamic State group, referring to the fighters as the Islamic State Central Africa Province.

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