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A violent attack by militants in a village in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday night resulted in the loss of at least 33 people.
Maurice Mabele Musaidi, a civil society leader, reported that the assailants brutally killed villagers using machetes and other weapons, with some villagers attempting to flee across the Lamia River into Uganda. The escalating situation led to more casualties, including an army captain and two children who drowned in the river.
The death toll, as confirmed by a local official on Monday, reached at least 33, with many still missing. In a harrowing account, the official stated that 23 victims were buried within the village, while six others were abducted to transport looted items before being executed. A humanitarian worker involved in the burial process confirmed the count of 23 bodies, adding that the army captain’s remains were moved to a different location.
The attack, identified as the work of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) by a spokesperson for Congo’s army, adds to the group’s long history of violence in the region.
The ADF, initially formed in Uganda and later relocating to eastern Congo, has been implicated in thousands of deaths over the past decade. Despite the attack, the Congolese army reported that they managed to kill at least six militants during the night’s operations.
This latest attack comes at a critical time for the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is preparing for general elections scheduled for December 20. The electoral commission has affirmed that the elections will proceed as planned despite ongoing security concerns in the region.