A general view of the barrier that separates Goma and the entire northern part of the province of North Kivu, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, on December 2, 2022. (PHOTO / AFP)
KINSHASA – Islamic State on Saturday claimed responsibility for an attack on a village in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo that authorities said killed around 20 people.
Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement on its Telegram channel.
An army spokesman in the North Kivu region where the attack took place, Anthony Mwalushay, said the assailants used machetes "to avoid confrontation with the army"
The attack, which took place on Friday in Musandaba, a village on the outskirts of Beni, is part of a wave of violence against civilians that the army and local authorities blame on the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a Ugandan group based in eastern Congo that has pledged allegiance to Islamic State.
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"We counted about 20 dead on Friday in the village of Musandaba," said the military administrator of Beni territory, Colonel Charles Omeonga. He accused the ADF.
Local activist Janvier Kasereka Kasayirio said 22 bodies had arrived at a nearby hospital.
An army spokesman in the North Kivu region where the attack took place, Anthony Mwalushay, said the assailants used machetes "to avoid confrontation with the army."
The attack took place in one of two conflict-hit provinces where Congo replaced civilian authorities with military administrations more than a year ago in an attempt to halt the violence.
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This week, the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Congo condemned another massacre committed by the ADF in neighboring Ituri province, which it says killed 30 people.