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Gunmen kill 10 civilians, children, in east DRC

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

An armoured personnel carrier on patrol near Beni, Democratic Republic of Congo. Picture: United Nations Photo.

BENI - Ten civilians including children and relatives of soldiers were killed overnight in a raid by armed men in restive eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), officials said on Tuesday.

“There was an incursion on 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.

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.

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.

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 30 December 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.

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