Machete-wielding ISIS fanatics slaughter 22 – including women and children – with at least 13 beheaded in Congo massacre
- The militants of the Allied Democratic Forces attacked the village in northeastern DR Congo
- At least 22 people were killed in the raid, including women and children
- 13 of the victims were tied up and beheaded, the Congolese army says
- ADF has been active in Congo since 1995 and has been affiliated with ISIS for some time in 2019
At least 22 people have been killed – 13 of whom were beheaded – by ISIS fanatics in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Militants from the Allied Democratic Forces attacked villagers near the town of Beni, in the northeast of the country, late Tuesday, the country’s military said.
An undetermined number of women and children are among the dead, officials said, adding that bodies are still being recovered in the surrounding jungle.
More villagers are thought to have been kidnapped, but the exact number of missing people is unclear.
At least 22 people, including women and children, died in a raid by Islamic militants known as the Allied Democratic Forces in DR Congo (file image, Congolese forces investigate a village after an ADF raid in February 2020)
Emergency workers in the area told reporters that at least 13 of the victims had been tied up and decapitated.
A four-month-old baby was found alive on the back of one of the victims and is believed to be an orphan, along with their six siblings.
Their mother’s body has yet to be found.
The attack comes three weeks after the military declared martial law in two neighboring provinces in Uganda – including the province where the latest attack took place – in response to increasing violence.
On May 17, Uganda announced that it had agreed to share intelligence and coordinate operations against the rebels, but would not deploy troops in the Congo.
Many of the attacks have been attributed to the ADF, a militant group from Uganda that has been active in DR Congo since 1995.
The group has its origins in a group of ultra-conservative Muslim clerics who formed in Uganda in the 1980s, before developing a military wing that was eventually destroyed in a raid by government forces under then President Yoweri Museveni.
Several dozen fighters survived the raid, including a man named Jamil Mukulu – a former Catholic who converted to Islam and is believed to have met Osama bin Laden – who fled across the border into DR Congo and founded the ADF.
Machete-wielding militants attack a village near Beni town on Tuesday night, slaughtering at least 22 people while kidnapping an unknown number of others.
The group’s stated goal is to overthrow the Ugandan government and establish an Islamic state instead.
The ADF launched its first attack in 1996 on a border post in Uganda – according to researchers from University of Antwerp – and has since fought against the Ugandan and Congolese armies, which have failed to eradicate it.
The group is believed to have allied with ISIS sometime around May 2019, after the terrorist organization began claiming responsibility for its attacks.
In March of this year, the US stated that the ADF issued a terrorist organization, referring to it as ISIS Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The State Department said it was responsible for the murders of 849 civilians in 2020 – with about 500 dead since the beginning of this year, aid agencies say.
The latest bloodshed attributed to the ADF left 31 dead on May 12 northwest of Beni.
The ADF is currently headed by a man named Seka Musa Baluku and is believed to run a series of hidden camps functioning as a proto-state with a population of about 2,000 people.
The camps include “an internal security service, a prison, health clinics and an orphanage,” said one Washington Post report in 2015.