Women and children were among at least 20 civilians murdered in Ituri province, in northeastern DR Congo, on the night of Saturday to Sunday, local officials told AFP.
“We have so far 20 people killed and 17 injured, some of whom have been admitted to the hospital,” Adel Alingi, an administrator of the Djugu territory, told AFP, adding that a notorious regional militia was suspected of to have perpetrated the last massacre in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Another local official said that 22 had been killed.
Pilo Mulindro, tribal chief, told AFP by telephone that “the victims are of all ages, children, young people, women and old people, killed with machetes, knives or firearms “.
Local authorities blamed the Congo Development Cooperative (Codeco) for the massacre, one of dozens of armed groups spread across the conflict-ravaged country.
Codeco is charged with the murder of hundreds of civilians this year alone.
Its members are mainly from the Lendu ethnic group, who are mainly farmers, and repeatedly encounter the Hema community of traders and breeders in Ituri – a region rich in gold and oil.