Suspected jihadists kill three people, torch vehicles in northeast DR Congo

The attack Wednesday morning occurred near the town of Ofai, the US-based Kivu Security Tracker (KST) said on Twitter, adding that the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) were suspected to have carried it out.

Democratic Republic of Congo flag. Picture: Supplied

BUNIA - Suspected jihadists killed three people and torched up to 14 vehicles on Wednesday in the Democratic Republic of Congo's troubled northeastern Ituri province, a Western monitoring group and local civil society and security sources said.

The attack Wednesday morning occurred near the town of Ofai, the US-based Kivu Security Tracker (KST) said on Twitter, adding that the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) were suspected to have carried it out.

It said the toll of three dead was still provisional.

The ADF, which the United States has deemed a terrorist group, is considered the deadliest of scores of armed militias that roam the mineral-rich eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The convoy was under escort by UN peacekeepers in the MONUSCO force and the Congolese army, according to a local civil society official, Dieudonne Malangayi.

The dirt road connects Ituri to North Kivu province, and security forces mount escorts to protect convoys against rebel attacks.

"The ADF rebels cut the convoy in half," Malangayi told AFP, adding that the attack left three dead while 13 vehicles were torched.

A military official in the region who requested anonymity said ADF rebels set fire to 14 vehicles.

AFP viewed a video showing several vehicles burning on the road, with dwellings nearby, as armed peacekeepers patrolled all around the site of the attack.

The ADF, historically a Ugandan Islamist group, have been accused of killing thousands of civilians in both Ituri and North Kivu.

Since April 2019, the Islamic State group (IS) has claimed responsibility for some of their attacks, and in March this year Washington placed the ADF on a list of "terrorist organisations" affiliated with IS.

Since May, the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri have been under a state of siege, replacing civilian authorities with army and police officers to fight armed groups.

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