49 people, including Anglican leader, killed in attacks on eastern Congo villages

49 people, including Anglican leader, killed in attacks on eastern Congo villages

In a file photo, a Congolese soldier runs as others rest next to a road during an attack by the Islamist rebel group Allied Democratic Forces in Mukoko Dec. 11, 2018. (Credit: Goran Tomasevic/Reuters via CNS.)

Armed attacks on two different villages overnight in Congo’s eastern Ituri province killed at least 49 people, local government officials said Monday.

KINSHASA, Congo — Armed attacks on two different villages overnight in Congo’s eastern Ituri province killed at least 49 people, local government officials said Monday.

Armed men besieged a camp for displaced people in the Bahema-Boga chiefdom early Monday, killing at least 29 people, according to the administrative secretary of that area, Gaston Babunya, who said the toll will likely rise.

Around 1 a.m. gunmen shot dead civilians.

“Before leaving, they also set fire to seven vehicles and several shops,” Babunya said.

Among the victims was an Anglican Church leader who had moved from Banande-Kainama in Beni territory to escape increasing attacks there, according to Dydis Issaya, a delegate of the governor.

Armed men also attacked the chiefdom of Banyali-Tchabi late Sunday, killing more than 20 people, according to local civil society groups. Among the dead there were women and children.

It wasn’t immediately clear who carried out the attacks, but Allied Democratic Forces have killed hundreds in the region and have increasingly staged attacks in recent months. Myriad rebel groups are vying for control of mineral-rich land in Congo’s east.

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