Twenty-three people lost their lives when suspected armed militants linked to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) carried out a raid on a village in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), according to civil and military officials.
The attack occurred overnight on Sunday in the village of Makugwe, in the Beni area of North Kivu province, civil society leader Roger Wangeve told AFP news agency.
Wangeve said that the attackers looted and torched several homes and shops in the village, and carried off several villagers into the bush.
Provincial deputy Saidi Balikwisha, who was in Makugwe during the attack, said three people were still missing.
Colonel Charles Omeonga, the Congolese military administrator of Beni territory, told AFP that soldiers were “in pursuit of the enemy”, who he said were hiding among the local population.
The ADF is one of the deadliest groups in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, a volatile region which has been plagued by militia violence for decades.
The militia — which the Islamic State group claims as its central African affiliate — has been accused of slaughtering thousands of Congolese civilians and carrying out bomb attacks in Uganda.
On January 15, suspected ADF operatives detonated a bomb in a church in North Kivu, killing at least 14 people and injuring another 63.