The horrific slaughter happened yesterday near the Ugandan border around 10km from the town of Beni, where the army and UN peacekeepers are stationed. Government officials blamed the massacre on the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a Ugandan Islamic militant group. The Christian population of Congo is estimated to be as high as 90%.
24Tanzania (h/t Susan K) Witnesses said the killings were carried out by men in uniforms posing as soldiers. The massacre happened near the Ugandan border around 6 miles (10km) from the town of Beni, where army and UN troops are stationed.
More than 200 people have been killed near Beni since early October by the ADF Islamic militants, official say.
It is not yet known exactly how many people died in the latest onslaught, reports the BBC’s Maud Jullien in Kinshasa. However, one woman who managed to flee said she counted at least 50 bodies, our correspondent adds. Amisi Kalonda, the regional administrator, told the BBC that nine bodies had been retrieved so far. He said the dead were spread out across the forest and that searches were still ongoing.
UN officials, who have been repeatedly criticized for failing to stem the violence, say they have increased their military presence in the area since October. But a senior UN source told the BBC that the organization did not have the capacity to protect all the civilians in the area.
The ADF was formed in 1996 by a puritanical Muslim sect in the Ruwenzori mountains of western Uganda. Peace agreements last year have failed to end violence in the east.
And while we’re in Africa, Boko Haram slaughters 48 more Nigerian fisherman near Chad, slitting many of their throats.