Rebels kill at least 35 in eastern Congo, officials say

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Armed rebels have killed at least 35 people in eastern Congo’s Beni region this week, according to local officials.

The bodies of 29 people were found after a mass killing in Kavuyiri in Virunga National Park, according to a statement from the provincial governor. It was not clear when the attack occurred. Another attack Tuesday killed at least six civilians in another area of Beni, it said.

The provincial government condemned the attacks “perpetrated by men without faith or law” and blamed the Allied Democratic Forces, which are active in the region and have ties to the Islamic State group.

The security situation in eastern Congo, especially Beni, has been deteriorating since Congo’s military launched a large-scale operation about a year ago against the armed group.

“The provincial government of North Kivu reaffirms its commitment behind military operations and legal proceedings aimed at definitively putting an end to this ordeal which has lasted too long,” the government said.

A local civil society organization says ADF rebels have killed at least 86 civilians in the past month in retaliation for the ongoing military operations. More than 1,000 civilians have been killed by the armed group since 2019, according to the U.N.

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AP reporter Al-Hadji Kudra Maliro in Beni, Congo contributed.

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