Fourteen civilians were killed and four were wounded on Wednesday in a militia attack on a village in the north eastern Ituri region of the DR Congo, which has been hit by months of violence.
In June, 160 people were killed in the region and more than 300,000 people fled the violence caused by local militia, according to official figures.
“We counted 14 civilian bodies and the four wounded were taken to hospital” after the attack on the village of Ngaddu, Desire Malo, a local society leader, told AFP.
The regional administrator of the Djugu territory confirmed the death toll, saying: “We hope that the army will take all precautions to protect the population.”
The spokesman for the regional army, Jules Tshikudi, said it was “pursuing the attackers” and that it “deplores the death of innocent civilians”.
In late 2017 and early 2018, the Djugu territory in Ituri was rocked by inter-communal violence, resulting in dozens of deaths and thousands fleeing across the border into Uganda.
Authorities and communities have been reluctant to talk about a revival of a communal conflict between Lendu farmers and Hema breeders which killed tens of thousands of people between 1999 and 2003 in Ituri.