Extremists with ties to the Islamic State group killed at least 26 people in eastern Congo, authorities said on Tuesday.
Attackers with the Allied Democratic Forces killed people in the city of Oicha in North Kivu province on Monday, said Beni Charles Ehuta Omeonga, the military administrator for the area.
“Among the victims were seven members from the same family killed by the assailants in their home,” he said.
Most of the victims were shot in their homes, said Nicolas Kikuku, a deputy governor in the region, adding that the death toll is likely higher than what’s been reported.
Conflict has been simmering in eastern Congo for decades where more than 120 armed groups are fighting in the region, most for land and control of mines with valuable minerals, while some are trying to protect their communities.
ADF has been expanding and intensifying operations in recent years, spreading from North Kivu to Ituri province despite military interventions meant to stop them.
In April, the group killed more than 30 people between the Irumu and Mambasa territories in Ituri.
ADF attacks have killed at least 370 civilians Since April last year and abducted several hundred more — including a significant number of children — since April last year, according to the United Nations.
The ADF originated in Uganda but later was forced to flee to eastern Congo, where it is accused of carrying out multiple attacks targeting civilians. The group is not known to claim responsibility for attacks it carries out.