By James Tasamba
KIGALI, Rwanda (AA) - Four civilians were killed Friday and six are missing in an attack attributed to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, according to authorities.
The attack was carried out despite an offensive by the combined forces of Ugandan and Congolese militaries on rebel bases.
“The attack took place in two separate places in Beni in North Kivu province. Three of the victims were shot dead by the attackers who tried to attack an army (FARDC) position in Mutsonge, along Eringeti-Kainama road,” provincial governor's representative in the area, Sabiti Njiamoja, told reporters. “The attack took place during the day. Apart from human loss, the attackers burned several houses.”
A fourth death occurred in the Ruwenzori sector where a civilian tending to his garden was killed.
Meanwhile, the Congolese army said the recent offensive on ADF bases by the Ugandan military allowed 27 hostages to flee.
One of those freed, Paluku Makombozi, told reporters that shelling by the army started at around 3 a.m. local time when a drone passed above the rebel camp, where they were being held.
The ADF reportedly told the hostages to extinguish the fire which was then followed by bombing at around 6 a.m.
“In the ensuing confusion, we dispersed and by God’s grace we found our way back to the military camp,” said Makombozi, a farmer in Komanda, in Ituri province.
He said he was at his farm when he was kidnapped by the ADF.
Ugandan and Democratic Republic of Congo forces launched coordinated air and artillery operations Tuesday against the Daesh/ISIS terror-affiliated group.
The Ugandan military has since moved into ground operations.
The ADF is accused of causing mayhem in eastern DR Congo and being responsible for recent bomb blasts in the Ugandan capital of Kampala.