By James Tasamba
KIGALI, Rwanda (AA) - Eleven civilians were killed by suspected Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels at a shopping mall in northeastern Ituri province in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the army said Friday.
The rebels fired several shots during the Thursday night attack at the Komanda shopping mall and its surroundings, army spokesman Jules Ngongo confirmed.
They also set fire to residential and commercial buildings.
The army launched counter operations supported by UN mission soldiers in DR Congo to repel the rebels who retreated into the nearby forest, said Ngongo.
Noting that the situation was under the control of the army, he appealed for calm in the community and a return to businesses.
Media reports said hundreds fled to seek refuge in surrounding villages after the attack.
The ADF, linked to the Daesh/ISIS terror group, stepped up attacks in DR Congo’s North Kivu and Ituri provinces since the start of 2021, particularly targeting civilians.
President Felix Tshisekedi proclaimed a “state of siege” in the two provinces in May, replacing senior civilian officials in the state with army officers in a bid to curb growing insecurity.
The government last week extended the “state of siege” for 15 more days.