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Dozens killed by suspected DR Congo rebels after a wave of attacks

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At least 35 civilians have been killed in a wave of attacks in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s restive North Kivu province over the past week.

Decades of fighting between armed groups over lucrative gold and mineral deposits have devastated the region and driven millions of people from their homes.

The Congolese government has not confirmed who was responsible for this week’s killings, but several local sources say the Islamic State-linked Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) were to blame.

The attackers targeted several villages in the region around the city of Beni, where many people have since fled.

Reports indicate that Mamove was the worst affected area, where a number of houses were also set on fire and motorcycles were stolen.

“The death toll could rise as the search continues, as the population flees and heads towards supposedly safe areas,” Leon Siviwe, an administrative leader in Beni, told the AFP news agency on Wednesday.

The ADF was founded across the border in eastern Uganda in the 1990sand took up arms against the country’s long-serving president Yoweri Museveni, claiming the government had persecuted Muslims.

The alliance with Islamic State is believed to have begun about six years ago.

Joint military operations by Ugandan and Congolese forces against ADF rebels began in 2021, but they have failed to stop attacks on civilians.

Another rebel group, the M23, recently revived its deadly campaign in the eastern Democratic Republic, capturing territory from government forces.

It is widely believed that Rwanda is supporting the M23 rebels, but Kigali strongly denies this.

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(Getty Images/BBC)

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