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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 14 November 2018

Eight killed in rebel attack on DR Congo army base

The attack targeted an army position in Kabasewa

Eight people were killed on Monday during an attack attributed to Ugandan Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels in the restive eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, according to sources.

The attack targeted an army position in Kabasewa, 60 kilometres east of Beni in North Kivu province.

"We deplore the death of three soldiers, while three others are wounded," said Captain Mak Hazukay, spokesman for the army in the region, adding that two rebels were also killed.

He said the attackers "looted the health centre pharmacy", took cattle, and made the villagers carry their stolen goods.

Noella Muliwavyo, a civil society leader in Beni, said that "three civilians were also killed, including a nurse" during the raid on the pharmacy, bringing the death toll to eight.

"We are wondering how the rebels were able to cross several kilometres to burn an army camp without the army seeing them. It's truly regrettable," Muliwavyo said.

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The ADF is a militia created by Muslim rebels to oppose Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni which also operates in the DRC.

They have been in the east of the country since 1995 and are accused of being responsible for a series of massacres of several hundred civilians since 2014 by the Congolese authorities and the UN Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO).

However, in 2015 the New York University Study Group on Congo said it was not just the ADF behind the killings and that other armed elements, including members of the Congolese army, were responsible.

The ADF is accused of killing 15 Tanzanian peacekeepers in the Beni region in December 2017.

North Kivu, one of the most populated areas of the DRC, is home to a number of armed groups that kill or abduct civilians.

President Joseph Kabila replaced the head of the army over the weekend in a wave of appointments in the run-up to elections.