Suspected armed Ugandan militants linked to Daesh have killed up to 24 people in a raid on a village in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), according to civil and military officials.
Congolese officials told reporters on Monday that the deadly attack was carried out by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a Ugandan armed group based in eastern DRC that has pledged allegiance to Daesh and wages frequent attacks in the area.
The attack occurred overnight on Sunday in the village of Makugwe, in the Beni area of North Kivu province, civil society leader Roger Wangeve told AFP news agency. He put the death toll at 24.
Wangeve said that the attackers looted and torched several homes and shops in the village, and carried off several villagers into the bush.
In a separate interview with Reuters news agency, Eugene Matsozi, the customary chief of the village of Mukungwe, also blamed the ADF for the attack.
“So far we have buried 24 people,” he said.
Colonel Charles Omeonga, the military administrator of Beni territory, said “around 20” villagers were killed but that he was waiting for a final assessment.
Troops are in pursuit of the attackers, he added.
Beni territory is in North Kivu province, one of two conflict-hit provinces, where the DRC replaced civilian authorities with military administrations more than a year ago in an attempt to stem the bloodshed.
Uganda has also sent troops into DRC to help fight the ADF.
Last Sunday, the DRC army also blamed the ADF for killing 14 people and injuring 63 others in a church bombing in North Kivu province, for which Daesh terror group claimed responsibility.
The ADF is one of the deadliest groups in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, a volatile region which has been plagued by violence for decades.
The group, which Daesh claims as its central African affiliate, has been accused of slaughtering thousands of Congolese civilians and carrying out bomb attacks in Uganda.