At least 14 dead in east Congo refugee camp attack

People attempt to cross the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ugandan border with their belongings to seek refuge after clashes between the Congolese army and the M23, in Bunagana, 100 kilometers from the city of Goma in eastern DRC on April 2, 2022. (GUERCHOM NDEBO / AFP)

BENI, Democratic Republic of Congo – At least 14 people were killed in an overnight attack on a displaced persons camp in east Democratic Republic of Congo's Ituri province, the latest violence in an area overrun by militants, the army and a civil society leader said on Tuesday.

Rebels raided a site outside the eastern town of Fataki where hundreds of civilians have sought refuge in recent months, killing 14 people including children, army spokesman Jules Ngongo Tsikudi said.

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Civil society leader Dieudonne Lossa gave a provisional death toll of 15 and blamed a militant group known as CODECO, accused of staging another attack on a nearby artisanal mining site on Sunday that killed at least 35. 

CODECO is renowned for targeting civilians, killing 18 people at a church last month and another 60 at a displaced persons camp in February

Reuters was not able to reach CODECO for comment on Tuesday.

The group is one of several armed militias, including an Islamic State affiliate, wrangling over land and resources in Congo's mineral-rich east – a conflict that has claimed thousands of lives and displaced millions over the past decade.

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Congo's government declared martial law in Ituri and neighboring North Kivu province a year ago in an effort to quell the violence. But deadly raids have surged since then.

CODECO is renowned for targeting civilians, killing 18 people at a church last month and another 60 at a displaced persons camp in February.