Extremist rebels in eastern Congo have killed at least nine people with knives and guns, a civil society organization said on Friday.
The attack took place Thursday evening on the Kyondo-Kyavinyonge road in North Kivu province, said Meleki Mulala, coordinator of the Congolese civil society group for the Ruwenzori sector. Civilians were driven from their homes before being killed, and many homes were looted, he said.
The death toll is preliminary because some people are missing, Mulala said. He said members of the Allied Democratic Forces, a rebel organization believed to have ties to the Islamic State group, carried out the attack.
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Conflict has been simmering for decades in eastern Congo, where more than 120 armed groups are fighting. Most are vying for land and control of mines with valuable minerals, while some groups are trying to protect their communities.
Since last April, ADF attacks have killed at least 370 civilians and the group has kidnapped several hundred people, including a significant number of children, according to the United Nations. The group has also extended its area of operations to Goma and neighboring Ituri province.
On Monday, authorities said 17 people were killed by the ADF in North Kivu province last week.