Over 30 people have been killed during two days of attacks by gunmen in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to the Red Cross.
The attacks happened in Ituri province, which along with neighbouring North Kivu, are under an official state of siege in an effort by the government to halt the attacks by multiple armed groups.
It is believed that the attacks were carried out by the Allied Democratic Front (ADF), one of the deadliest rebel groups operating in the region.
The attackers were brutal since some of the victims had been found tied up – others had had their throats slit. Homes were also torched and property was looted.
Kinos Kathuho, head of a civil society group in Mamove in the volatile Beni region reported the deaths. He said ADF rebel fighters entered the village of Mambumembume on Friday night.
“For the moment, we have a toll of 27 people killed, several houses and motorbikes burned, several people missing,” he said.
Two other groups of attackers went to two other nearby villages, where at least five people were also killed, he added.
In late last year, over 1,000 Ugandan soldiers crossed into DR Congo for what was meant to be a joint military operation to defeat the ADF following bomb attacks in the Ugandan capital Kampala that were blamed on the group.
Even after a series of promises of progress, the group has continued to execute frequent attacks on vulnerable communities.
In North Kivu, another rebel group called M23 has recently relaunched a rebellion seizing villages adding to the security crisis.
The region has been in the grip of armed groups for a quarter of a century, many of them a legacy of the Congo Wars of the 1990s and early 2000s.