Africa  

Army ‘kills 10’ in attack on militia in east DR Congo

Ten fighters were killed Thursday when the army launched a pre-dawn attack on a militia in the restive eastern region of Democratic Republic of Congo, a military spokesman said.

The assault targeted a group called the Mai-Mai Mazembe, which had taken up position in Kapanga, a locality in the Lubero district on the border with Uganda, the official said.

“They have been dislodged. We found 10 corpses,” Lieutenant Jules Tshikudi, a spokesman for the army in North Kivu province, told AFP.

“Two solders were also injured in the fighting. Everything is under control in the area and we are conducting sweeping-up operations.”

Lubero is located about 300 kilometres (200 miles) north of North Kivu’s capital Goma.

Rich in minerals, eastern DR Congo has been unstable for more than two decades, gripped by fighting among several dozen local and foreign armed groups, many of which are accused of rape, killings and abductions of civilians.

The Mai-Mai are self-described “self-defence” groups who were armed during the Second Congo War (1998-2003) by the authorities in the distant capital Kinshasa to help combat invading Ugandans and Rwandans.

Many of the militiamen kept their weapons after the war.

Fighting between their groups and the Congolese army has intensified since the beginning of the year, both in North Kivu and neighbouring South Kivu province.

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