18 people have been confirmed dead following gun exchange between DRC army officers and Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels on Thursday Friday this week.
According to sources, 9were civilians, 8 rebels and one soldier
“There was an ADF incursion from 10pm to 3am in the village of Katanda: nine civilians were killed, dozens of houses were burned and several people are missing,” Abdul Kalemire, the leader of the Bashu chiefdom (Beni Territory, North Kivu), said.
The army, whose closest position is 11 km from the village, intervened “late” but allowed the release of 15 hostages, Kalemire added.
“It is a strategy of the ADF to lure the DRC Armed Forces (FARDC) and peacekeepers out of the forest from which they chased them,” provincial deputy Saidi Balikwisha said.
In this area, the army and the peacekeepers have conducted joint operations that have dislodged the ADF from their main strongholds in the forest.
ADF rebels attacked the village of Malaya, a neighboring province, the enemy could not resist the army, eight ADF were neutralized (killed) and one soldier fell on the field of honor,” according to Lieutenant Jules Ngongo, army spokesman in the province.
ADF are said to have originated from Uganda and have been operating for nearly 30 years in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo where they are accused of killing thousands of civilians.
The jihadist organization Islamic State (EI) which is a key terrorist group in Africa lists the ADF group as its branch in Central Africa.
It should be noted that jihadist have of recent made attacks in Burkina Faso and Libya respectively and left at least 100 people dead in both countries and many injured.