'21 dead in new DR Congo massacre by ADF militia'

21 dead in new DR Congo massacre by ADF militia: official

At least 21 people have been killed in a massacre suspected to have been committed by militants from the Islamist ADF group in the north-east of DR Congo, a local official said on Saturday.

The forces first attacked a rival group of Congolese militia members before killing inhabitants in the village of Lisasa, with the "preliminary death toll" put at 21, according to local administrator Donat Kibwana from the Beni territory in North Kivu.

The ADF, which originated in the 1990s as a Ugandan Muslim rebel group, is one of more than 100 militias that plague the eastern provinces of the vast Democratic Republic of Congo.

The group has killed nearly 600 civilians since the army launched a crackdown on it last November, according to an unofficial count.

The massacres are apparently reprisals for the army operation or designed to warn locals against collaborating with the authorities.

The ADF has never claimed any responsibility for attacks, although since April 2019, several of its assaults have been claimed by the so-called Islamic State - Central Africa, sometimes with factual mistakes.

On October 21, hundreds of prisoners escaped from a jail in Beni in an attack by gunmen. Police blamed the ADF while the Islamic State took credit for it.