GOMA – At least twenty civilians and 5 Congolese army soldiers were killed on Saturday night by members of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels, in the restive eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the army spokesperson said on Sunday.
Lt Jules Tshikudi, Congolese army spokesperson in Ituri province told this news website on phone on Sunday the rebels attacked several towns in Beni.
The attack took place from 18:30 to past midnight and many people were displaced by the fighting.
During the attack, 25 civilians and soldiers were injured as the army battled the attackers. The army said it was still pursuing the enemy on Sunday.
More than 100 militias operate in North Kivu and Ituri Provinces in the eastern Congo, in a country battling to contain the Ebola outbreak, which is concentrated in the North and Ituri province.
The insecurity is making the work of health workers difficult to quell the Ebola outbreak in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo that has killed 97 people since it began on August 1.
Local human rights groups say more than 800 civilians have been killed near Beni by militias including ADF since October 2014, most in overnight raids by rebels carried out with machetes and hatchets.
The ADF was also accused of killing 15 Tanzania peacekeepers in the Beni region in December 2017.
Eastern Congo is plagued by dozens of armed militias that attack locals and exploit minerals.
Congo, Africa’s biggest copper producer and the world’s largest source of cobalt, is preparing to hold presidential elections in December this year.