At least 6 hacked to death in fresh 'rebel' attacks in DRC

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Kinshasa - At least six people were hacked to death in troubled northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo in two attacks last week, blamed on Ugandan rebels, a regional official told AFP on Monday.

The government and the UN mission in the central African country Monusco have accused the shadowy rebel group Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), dominated by hardline Ugandan Muslims, of carrying out a two-year bloodbath in the region.

"There have been attacks blamed on suspected ADF members near the border with Nord Kivu (province), which left at least six people dead in Irumu territory," the vice governor of Ituri province, Pacifique Keta, said.

Keta added that the death toll was provisional and security had been beefed up.

Separately, Gill Gotabo, a civil society leader in Ituri, reported that 14 people were killed in the attacks, which took place in the villages of Saboko and Bialee.

Irumu territory in Ituri province is near Beni in neighbouring Nord Kivu province - the main target of attacks where the ADF are alleged to have massacred around 700 people, many of them hacked to death.

The ADF has not claimed any of the Beni massacres. Experts on DRC have not found any link between the group and the global jihadist underground.

Others have alleged that government agents have had a role in the killing - claims Kinshasa rejects.

A report by experts in March said members of the Congolese army, former rebels from the RCD-K/ML group - who held the area during the 1998-2003 Second DRC War - and local militias were all involved in the mass killings.

In explaining the violence, some experts have cited struggles for control of trafficking in various industries like timber, agricultural produce or minerals in a region with extremely rich potential.

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