DRC vote could be a threat to Africa’s sta­bil­ity: Ka­tumbi Rebels carry out deadly at­tack in Beni city

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page -

AT least 16 peo­ple have been killed and eight oth­ers in­jured in a rebel at­tack in the Demo­cratic Repub­lic of Congo’s restive eastern city of Beni, ac­cord­ing to wit­nesses.

Twelve of the dead were civil­ians and the rest govern­ment sol­diers, wit­nesses said yes­ter­day. The late Satur­day at­tack also left five civil­ians in­jured, ac­cord­ing to a doc­tor at a lo­cal hospi­tal.

The Beni re­gion is un­der siege from the Al­lied De­fence Forces (ADF), a Ugan­dan rebel group that has op­er­ated in the re­gion since 1995, which has been blamed for hun­dreds of civil­ian deaths over the past four years.

For­eign hu­man­i­tar­ian work­ers have been sta­tioned in Beni, in the North Kivu prov­ince near the bor­der with Uganda, since early Au­gust to deal with a new Ebola out­break in the re­gion.

“The sur­prise at­tack hap­pened in the streets of Beni city,” the doc­tor told AFP. Four of the dead were killed while trav­el­ling in a taxi.

Ac­cord­ing to sev­eral wit­ness ac­counts, the at­tack started around 1630-1700 GMT.

Heavy and light cal­i­bre gun­fire was heard for sev­eral hours un­til after mid­night lo­cal time. It was not known whether the army coun­ter­at­tacked. The rebels tar­geted ar­eas near the cen­tre of the trad­ing set­tle­ment of sev­eral hun­dred thou­sand in­hab­i­tants.

The ADF group is re­spon­si­ble for the deaths of more than 1 500 peo­ple and 800 kid­nap­pings since 2014, ac­cord­ing to lo­cal civil so­ci­ety or­gan­i­sa­tions. — Al Jazeera

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