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DR Congo – 2 Killed In Islamic State-Linked Rebel Attack In North Kivu

Rebels believed to be from a group linked with the Islamic State attacked a village, killed at least two people and attempted to kidnap many more in the latest of a series of violent assaults in the area.

A child and an elderly man were killed and a doctor abducted in a new incursion by rebels tied to the Islamic State in North Kivu.

The killings took place in Kabasha, a village situated thirty kilometres to the north of Butembo on the Butembo-Beni highway in the early hours of Nov 9.

The gunman tried to take more people hostage, but some escaped during the withdrawal from the village when the insurgents encountered a militia group, it was reported.

In recent days The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) have been confirmed to be a franchise of the Islamic State in Central Africa. 

According to the president of the local health committee, Muhindo Kaserya, the assailants came from Tabi and Kakuka between Mataba and Kabasha through the private farm of former DR Congo president, Joseph Kabila to the east of Kabasha.

A council worker told HumAngle: “They left behind enormous damage including two persons killed, the Kabasha hospital centre looted and burnt down, one of its doctors abducted, shops and other commercial houses razed down, some residential houses burnt and several inhabitants reported missing”.

The death toll could increase as they are still assessing the damage, the council worker said. Many homes, businesses and vehicles had been burned.

A well-informed source in Kalunguta spoke on condition of anonymity told HumAngle that in withdrawing from Kabasha, the assailants crossed paths with a group of Mai-Mai militia of the Union Patriotique pour la Liberation du Congo (UPLC) and in the clashes that ensued, some of the hostages they took from Kabasha succeeded in escaping.

Several inhabitants, including medical staff of the Kabasha hospital centre have since escaped and taken refuge in villages situated to the west of Kabasha, notably Kasebere where they spent the night in the bushes, the source said.

This attack comes less than a month after the one on Maboya village, situated only ten kilometres from Kabasha still on the Butembo-Beni highway during which the assailants, still suspected to be the ADF, killed seven persons including a priest of the Butembo-Beni Catholic diocese and burnt down two health structures as well as commercial houses.

Earlier this week the Islamic State issued a 20-minute video on its media channel detailing the operations of its affiliated group in DR Congo. The film showed them praying, teaching children the Quran, training with weapons, burning villages and destroying churches. 

In the video a masked man speaks in fluent Arabic, extolling the virtues of jihad, before he executes a bound man kneeling in front of him.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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