By BYANSI Samuel Baker
At least 25 people have been killed and 25 others injured in ADF attack in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s restive eastern city of Beni.
Twenty of the dead were civilians and the rest government soldiers, witnesses told the lt. Jule Thsikudi the Congolese army spokesperson in Northern Kivu told Africa plenary. The attack on late Saturday night also left 25 including the government soldiers injured, according to a doctor at a local hospital.
The Beni region is under siege from the Allied Defense Forces (ADF), a Ugandan rebel group that has operated in the region since 1995, which has been blamed for hundreds of civilian deaths over the past four years.
Foreign humanitarian workers have been stationed in Beni, in the North Kivu province near the border with Uganda, since early August to deal with a new Ebola outbreak in the region.
“The surprise attack happened in the streets of Beni city,” the doctor told Africa plenary. Some of the dead were killed while traveling in a taxi.
According to several witness accounts, the attack started around 16:30-17:00 GMT.
Heavy and light-caliber gunfire was heard for several hours until after midnight local time. It was not known whether the army counterattacked.
The rebels attacked areas near the centre of the trading settlement of several hundred thousand inhabitants.
According to local civil society organizations, The ADF group has so far killed more than 1500 people and kidnaped 800 since 2014.
North Kivu, one of the most populated areas of the DRC, is home to a number of armed groups that kill or abduct civilians.