East DR Congo attack leaves 46 people killed, including children
An official says a militia group involved in numerous ethnic killings in the Bahema Badjere area attacked a camp in northeastern Ituri province.
At least 46 people, half of whom are children, were killed in a militia attack on a camp for displaced people in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), security analysts and a local community leader said on Monday.
Richard Dheda, an official of the local administration for Bahema Badjere in Djugu territory, told AFP that a militia group involved in numerous ethnic killings in the area attacked the camp in northeastern Ituri province overnight Sunday to Monday.
The Kivu Security Tracker (KST), a network of observers based in DRC's east, recorded "at least 46" dead in the Lala camp.
Desire Malodra, a community leader, gave the same number, highlighting that 23 of the killed were children. He noted that the toll was still provisional as "the search continues" for victims.
"They began to fire shots, many people were burned to death in their homes, others were killed by machete," Malodra said.
The Lala camp for displaced people is five kilometers (three miles) from Bule, the site of a UN peacekeeper base.
Ituri province is one of eastern DR Congo's violence hotspots, where attacks claiming dozens of lives are common.
According to AFP, the CODECO militia, or Cooperative for the Development of the Congo, claims to protect the Lendu community from another ethnic group, the Hema, as well as the DR Congo army.
CODECO militants attacked an army position in the Djukoth area of Ituri province's Mahagi territory late on Saturday, killing seven civilians.
After a decade of calm, the conflict between the Hema and Lendu communities re-erupted in 2017, resulting in thousands of deaths and more than 1.5 million people displaced from their homes, as per the AFP.