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At least 58 people killed in jihadi attacks on Christian-majority region of DRC

15 September 2020

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At least 58 people were killed and 17 kidnapped when Muslim militants attacked two villages in the mainly-Christian north-east of the Democratic Republic of Congo in early September.

Twenty-three people were murdered on 8 September and another 35 were killed two days later in the heavily forested Tshabi area of southern Ituri province. Large numbers of the population have since fled.

Villagers in the Christian-majority north-east DRC have suffered waves of murderous attacks by jihadists, with more than 700 killed in Ituri province since 2017

“People were killed with every sort of weapon, knives, guns,” said a villager in Tshabi. “Seventeen people are listed as disappeared, but they have almost definitely been kidnapped.”

Members of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), an Islamist militant group active in the region for more than two decades, are thought to have carried out the atrocity. The terrorist group had entered the region to escape military action against them in neighbouring North Kivu province.

In May, at least 57 people from two villages in Ituri were murdered by the jihadists in attacks on consecutive days.

More than 700 people have been killed in Ituri province since 2017, according to the UN. The north-east region has seen a surge of violence since October 2019, when the army launched a large-scale offensive against the ADF.

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Democratic Republic of Congo