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Gunmen kill 10 civilians, children, in east DR Congo

Tuesday January 8 2019

Congolese National Police officers

Congolese National Police officers are deployed at Katendere polling center in Goma on December 29, 2018. PHOTO | PATRICK MEINHARDT | AFP 

AFP
By AFP
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BENI,

Ten civilians including children and relatives of soldiers were killed overnight in a raid by armed men in restive eastern DR Congo, officials said Tuesday.

"There was an incursion yesterday (Monday) around 23:00... in the village of Mavivi" north of Beni, local administrator Donat Kasereka Kibwana told AFP.

"They killed eight people and injured three others, of whom two later died," he said.

FIVE CHILDREN

The victims were felled by gunfire and machetes wielded by the attackers who also looted chickens and goats just 300 metres (yards) from a UN base.

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Five children under 10 were among the victims, a civilian representative said.

For its part, the MONUSCO peacekeeping force said it had intervened to halt the attack, "rescued three wounded and... a baby."

Police also put the death toll at 10, while a civil society representative and an observer said 11 civilians were killed.

UGANDAN REBELS

The Beni region has been the target of attacks since October 2014 by the Ugandan Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a shadowy Islamist-rooted group that arose in western Uganda in 1995 under the leadership of Jamil Mukulu, a Christian turned Muslim.

Forced out of Uganda, it operates in the border area in the DRC's North Kivu province, an area where other armed groups are also active.

It has been blamed for recruiting and using child soldiers, killing hundreds of civilians since 2014, as well as 15 Tanzanian peacekeepers who died in an attack in December 2017.

Elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo on December 30 were cancelled in Beni, officially because of insecurity and an ongoing Ebola epidemic in the region.

The election results have yet to be announced amid fear of tallying fraud in the unstable central African giant.