(By Estera Popowska)
In what is suspected to be the work of Islamist Ugandan rebels, officials have said at least five people were beheaded in a machete attack in an eastern area of the Democratic Republic of Congo, New Vision reported Thursday morning.
Amisi Kalonda, the area administrator of the town of Beni, reportedly said “five civilians were killed by machete in the Mbau area, ” adding that the army was alerted by a resident of the village who managed to escape. The victims were killed "as they were going to work in the fields this morning", Kalonda told AFP.
"The army came back with three injured men and five decapitated bodies," he said.
Teddy Kataliko, who heads a local NGO which observes the violence, said he believed the final death toll could be as high as ten. He said the army had found other bodies during searches of the area.
Ugandan Islamist rebels from the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a militia that is believed to have killed more than 260 people in the final three months of last year, mostly with knives and machetes is believed to have made the attacks.
New Vision says The killings prompted a joint offensive between Congolese soldiers and troops from the UN mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) to put down the ADF and its allies, which have operated in the region since 1995 (Source: Agencies/New Vision)