BENI, DRC – Suspected militants killed at least 30 civilians Friday in a village raid in Democratic Republic of Congo’s northeastern Ituri province, the head of a civil society group and a local resident said.
Army spokesperson Jules Ngongo Tshikudi confirmed the morning attack in Banyali Kilo, a district in conflict riven Ituri, but did not give a death toll as he said the armed forces were still searching the area.
‘They set fire to several houses, looted property … and killed around 30 people, both men and women,’ said local civil society president Charite Banza.
Banyali Kilo resident Jean Basiloke said children were also among the 35 people whose bodies had been counted so far.
He, Banza and Tshikudi blamed members of the CODECO group, one of several dozen armed militias that have destabilized Congo’s densely forested eastern territory.
The government declared a state of siege in Ituri and neighboring North Kivu province in 2021, in an attempt to stem rampant militia violence in the country’s vast mineral-rich east. But the killings and rebel activity have not shown any sign of abating.
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