Two soldiers were killed and five others injured on Monday, June 6, during thei fight against M23 militants in eastern Congo.
According to local sources, the clash followed a raid on a village in neighboring Ituri province on Sunday by suspected Islamists from another rebel group that killed at least 18 people.
Fighters believed to be from the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) killed residents and burned down houses in Otomabere, said a witness and a local chief.
Congolese army spokesman, Jules Ngongo, who confirmed the ADF attack without giving a death toll, said Congolese forces were in pursuit of the rebels.
The ADF is a Ugandan militia that moved to eastern Congo in the 1990s and killed more than 1,300 people between January 2021 and January 2022, according to a United Nations report.
“We were chatting with some friends outside (when) we heard gunshots, and everyone fled in a different direction. It was total panic,” said Kimwenza Malembe, a resident of Otomabere.
“This morning we counted 18 dead, killed by knives and firearms.”
Christophe Munyanderu, coordinator of the local group Convention for the Respect of Human Rights (CRDH), put the death toll at 27, up from a provisional figure of 20.