Ugandan rebels have killed three women during an overnight raid in the northeast of Democratic Republic of Congo, a research group and the provincial governor said Friday.
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“ADF jihadists,” Muslim fighters in the Alliance of Democratic Forces from neighbouring Uganda, attacked Mayi-Moya in strife-prone North Kivu province on Thursday evening, the Study Centre for the Promotion of Peace, Democracy and Human Rights (Cepadho) said in a statement. “During this attack, the terrorists killed three civilians (women) and burned down four buildings, including a home and three shops,” the statement said, adding that three people had been killed in a previous raid on the village late in June. North Kivu’s governor Julien Paluku said that “yesterday around 7:00 pm (1700 GMT) there was an “incursion by the ADF rebels, who attacked a military position” and then “killed three women and burned about 10 homes.
” The Congolese army, which has launched operations against the insurgents infamous for mass killings of civilians, battled the ADF forces, Paluku said, but he was unable to give any casualty figures. The village of Mayi-Moya lies 45 kilometres (29 miles) north of the equatorial market town of Beni, where some contingents of the large UN peacekeeping force in the country are based.
Suspected ADF rebels massacred nine civilians on July 14 in the Beni territory, where the Islamic extremists are accused of killing more than 400 people, mostly by hacking them to death. Government troops launched an offensive against them last Saturday and announced on Tuesday that they had captured a strategic rebel position in the region, where the ADF runs a lucrative illicit trade in timber. While North Kivu suffered greatly in the First and Second Congo Wars (1996-2003), the province was already troubled by armed conflict over land and between ethnic groups, as well as struggles to win control of its substantial mineral reserves.