Authorities say 19 people were killed in a raid on an eastern Congolese village by suspected Islamist militants.
In North Kivu province, between Friday and Saturday, attackers looted houses and started fires in Kasanzi-Kithovo near Virunga National Park.
“I don’t know where my two children should go,” villager Kahindo Lembula told journalist by phone, who lost four of her relatives in the attack. “Only God can help us.”
Kalunga Meso, the district head of Buliki, and local rights group CEPADHO blamed the attacks on the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), an Islamist militant group accused of killing thousands of people in recent years, mostly in remote areas.
No immediate claim of responsibility was made, and the ADF could not be reached.
A surge in violence that the military largely attributes to the ADF prompted the government to declare martial law in North Kivu and neighbouring Ituri province at the beginning of May.
However, the number of civilians killed in such attacks has only increased since then, according to the Kivu Security Tracker, which tracks unrest in eastern Congo.