Suspected Islamists kill 10 in eastern Congo machete attack

By Erikas Mwisi Kambale

BENI, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) - Suspected Islamists killed 10 people in a raid on a village in eastern Democractic Republic of Congo and kidnapped several others, local authorities and a witness said.

The attack, in which assailants used machetes, occurred on Friday night in the village of Mabule, around 25 km (16 miles) south east of Beni, the sources said.

"They killed 10 people here without any reason," said Muhindo Mbela, a survivor of the massacre.

It was not yet clear who carried out the attack, though local authorities blamed the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a Ugandan armed group active in eastern Congo since the 1990s.

The group killed around 850 people last year, according to U.N. figures.

"They simply finished off the victims with machetes," said Mambo Kitambala from a local civil rights group.

Reprisal attacks against civilians increased sharply since the army began an operation against the ADF in November 2019, dislodging it from several bases in mountainous jungle near the Ugandan border.

"We confirm the attack on the village of Mabule by armed men we have identified as the ADF," said Donat Kibwana, the administrator of Beni territory.

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for several suspected ADF attacks in the past, but U.N. experts have not found any direct link between the two groups.

(Reporting by Erikas Mwisi Kambale; Writing by Hereward Holland, Editing by Edward McAllister, William Maclean)