BENI, Congo (AP) — Rebels have killed 12 civilians and a soldier in the latest overnight attack on a village in eastern Congo, a local official said Tuesday.
“They surprised the people in their homes,” the administrator of Beni territory, Donat Kasereka Kibwana, told The Associated Press.
The attack by Allied Democratic Forces rebels on Alungupa village, about 25 kilometers (15 miles) outside the often-targeted city of Beni, occurred while the president of the National Assembly was visiting the city and meeting with survivors of past massacres.
Jeanine Mabunda during her visit vowed that the assembly would create laws to augment the Congolese military presence in the Beni region. Residents have long accused the government in faraway Kinshasa of neglect.
Dozens of armed groups are active in mineral-rich eastern Congo. Attacks have caused tens of thousands of people to flee their homes and complicated health workers’ efforts to contain an Ebola virus outbreak in the region.
A local civil society group known as CEPADHO says ADF rebels have killed more than 300 people in the Beni region since October alone.
Kibwana said Alungupa village is now under military control. The administrator appealed for calm and collaboration with authorities.