Suspected Islamic extremists killed at least 18 people, and burned down a church and several homes in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo in an overnight attack Wednesday, according to reports.
Reuters reports that an attack on Baeti Village in the North Kivu province was confirmed by the Army in DRC. The village lies about 12 miles west of the city of Oicha.
While officials declined to give a death toll, Kinos Katuho, the leader of a local civil rights group, told the outlet that at least 18 deaths have been tallied in a provisional death toll. He later told AFP that at least 19 were killed — 17 men and two women.
Blame for the attack has been placed on the Allied Democratic Forces, a militant group based in neighboring Uganda that has also been active in the North Kivu province and accused of killing hundreds this year alone.
Masisa Mushogoro, who heads a development committee in the villlage, told Reuters that the attack created a “pain in our hearts” as well as “total panic in the village.”
“We don’t know if tomorrow the ADF will come back here again,” Mushogoro said.
Janvier Kasairio, a local representative for a civil society group, told AFP that between 15 to 20 people were killed and several homes were torched.
Katuho told AFP that 40 houses and a church were burned down and several people are missing.
“The army was alerted but did not intervene,” he was quoted as saying
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