7 people have been killed following suspected Islamist militants attack in the city of Beni, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo on Tuesday night.
Army Spokesman Antony Mwalushayi who confirmed the incidence on Wednesday said the army had received intelligence that members of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) were planning to break into Beni’s central prison and troops were dispatched to stop them.
The ADF fighters staged a diversion by attacking the neighbourhoods of Rwangoma and Paida, where they killed civilians and kidnapped at least one person, said Mwalushayi.
The prison break was averted and the assailants fled into Virunga National Park, the army spokesman told Reuters.
The ADF is a Ugandan armed group that has operated in the dense forests of eastern Congo for decades.
“It was around 8 p.m. local time that the ADF enemy surprised us yesterday, while I was at the table with the children,” said Kavira Malekani, a resident of the neighbourhood of Paida.
“We survived in a miraculous way by leaving the food on the table and spending the night on a balcony in town. Other people including my cousin were kidnapped.”
Uganda has sent at least 1,700 troops to neighbouring Congo to help fight the ADF after accusing the group of responsibility for a string of bombings in Kampala last year.
Barely a week ago, suspected members of the ADF attacked a hospital in Lume, North Kivu province, the army reports that 9 people were killed, while a nurse at the hospital counted 13 bodies.
Writing by Muzha Kucha