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Four ADF rebels, three civilians killed in east DR Congo

By AFP
Congo The ADF has carried out a string of massacres in villages in the Beni region since 2017 -- more than 1,200 people have died, say monitors.  By Alexis Huguet (AFP)
NOV 4, 2021 LISTEN
The ADF has carried out a string of massacres in villages in the Beni region since 2017 -- more than 1,200 people have died, say monitors. By Alexis Huguet (AFP)

Three civilians died when the ADF rebel group attacked a village in eastern DR Congo, the army said Thursday, adding that it had killed four assailants.

The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) is the deadliest of more than 120 armed groups in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, and the US has formally linked it to the so-called Islamic State (IS).

"The DRC armed forces successfully neutralised four ADF fighters this morning," said Captain Antony Mualushayi, the army's spokesman in the territory of Beni, in North Kivu province.

"These terrorists killed three civilians overnight, two women and a child, before regular forces arrived."

The toll "is still provisional, as combat patrols are still out on the ground," he said.

The ADF attacked the village "in a bid to get food supplies and undermine the army's efforts" against them, said Mualushayi.

The ADF began in the 1990s as coalition of armed Ugandan groups, the biggest of which comprised Muslims, that opposed Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.

ADF activity in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.  By Cléa PÉCULIER (AFP) ADF activity in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. By Cléa PÉCULIER (AFP)

The group moved into eastern DRC in 1995, establishing itself in the Rwenzori Mountains in North Kivu.

The DRC's Catholic Church says the ADF has killed around 6,000 civilians since 2013, while a respected monitor, the Kivu Security Tracker, blames it for more than 1,200 deaths in the Beni area since 2017.

In April 2019, IS began to claim some ADF attacks through its outlets on social media. It presented the group as its regional branch -- the Islamic State Central Africa Province, or ISCAP.

On March 11 this year, the United States placed the ADF on its list of "terrorist groups" affiliated with IS jihadists.

North Kivu and neighbouring Ituri province have been placed under a "state of siege" since May, in a move aimed at stepping up a military offensive against the rebels.

Under it, senior civilian officials have been replaced by commanders from the military or the police.

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