No fewer than 16 people were repotedly killed in clashes with suspected Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels in eastern Congo, an official said on Tuesday.
Interim Town Mayor Bakwanamaha Modeste said the clashes, which began on Monday night in the town of Beni, left 13 civilians, two military personnel and a rebel dead.
“We regret the death of 13 civilians and two military personnel,” he said, adding that a rebel was also killed.
The incident came a few days after the Congolese army said they had killed 26 ADF members in the same region.
The ADF was formed in 1995 and is located in the mountainous Congo-Uganda border area.
It is known to use child soldiers and has been accused of gross human rights violations.
It is one of numerous rebel groups that are active in eastern Congo, primarily fighting over the area’s rich mineral resources.
The ADF frequently launches attacks on civilians, but recently has been responsible for attacks on United Nations peacekeepers as well.
Eastern Congo is also in the midst of the second-worst Ebola outbreak in history.
The number of ebola cases on Tuesday surpassed the 2,000-mark.
Militia attacks have hindered health workers and complicated the UN’s response to the crisis. (dpa/NAN)