The death toll from a series of attacks by extremist rebels in eastern Congo this week has risen to at least 45, local officials said on Friday.
Province deputy Saidi Balikwisha said insurgents from the Allied Democratic Forces, a militia affiliated with the Islamic State group, stabbed dozens of people to death in several villages in North Kivu province over two days.
“Here, the result of the brutality of ADF terrorists, not three or four days go by without us recording deaths. Peace,” he said.
He said little had been done to help others whose homes had been torched by the insurgents.
At least 36 killed by extremists linked to IS group in eastern Congo
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Conflict has raged in eastern Congo for decades as more than 120 armed groups fight for power, influence and resources and some to protect their communities. The ADF has been largely active in North Kivu Province, but has recently expanded its operations into neighboring Ituri Province and areas near the regional capital, Goma.
ADF rebels have been accused by the United Nations and rights groups of targeting, maiming, raping and abducting civilians, including children. Earlier this month the United States offered a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to the capture of the group’s leader, Seka Musa Baluku.
On Thursday, AP reporters saw bodies dumped in a mass grave in Mukondi, where more than 30 people were killed by bullets, knives and machetes, according to officials. Against the backdrop of destroyed houses, members of the community throw dirt on the dead bodies.
The United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in Congo condemned the killings and is urging Congolese authorities to investigate and bring those responsible to justice.
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