A military official in the Democratic Republic of the Congo said on Monday that at least 70 people were killed in an attack on the villages of Buga and Chabe in Ituri province (east of the country).
The German news agency quoted military spokesman Jules Ngongo as saying that gunmen linked to the “Allied Democratic Forces” attacked the two villages, killing dozens of residents, looting homes and taking hostages, including many teenagers.
For its part, the research group “Kivu Security Tracker” said that at least 50 people – at least – died during the night in two attacks on the two villages. While the army and a local rights group held the “Allied Democratic Forces” responsible for the two massacres, others said that the attacks may have been ethnic.
The group indicated that the outcome is “still preliminary”, indicating that it is the highest toll recorded in one day since its establishment in 2017.
A local official also spoke of the fall of 60 people, and said that 7 trucks arrived to transport the victims, stressing that relief teams are still finding more bodies.
Referring to the participation of a large number of attackers, the official said, “The attack was well-directed, and they killed two community leaders. We cannot rule out a settling of scores.”
The Allied Democratic Forces are the deadliest of about 122 armed militias in the mineral-rich east, many of which are a legacy of two regional wars that lasted from 1996 to 2003.
The US government recently designated the “Allied Democratic Forces” – a splinter from the Islamic State – an international terrorist group.