At least 30 people, including a United Nations peacekeeper, have been killed in violence in a Democratic Republic of Congo’s northeastern region.
Local sources said on Monday that the deaths took place as a result of clashes involving Congolese army and UN forces against Ugandan rebels in North Kivu’s town of Eringeti.
According to the Study Centre for the Promotion of Peace, Democracy and Human Rights (CEPADHO), the victims also included civilians and Congolese soldiers.
The victims have not been identified.
A Congolese army spokesman in the region, Mak Hazukay, said the Allied Democratic Forces-National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (ADF-NALU) rebels “attacked our positions at Eringeti and we repelled them all night.”
An unnamed regional official said he had witnessed “four civilians killed by bullets and seven patients and a nurse cut up by machete at the hospital.”
Activists say at least 500 civilians have been killed in attacks carried out by the rebels since last October.
The ADF-NALU was founded in Uganda in 1995 and later moved to Congo. It has been accused of committing serious human rights violations, including recruiting child soldiers and rape.
ADF-NALU and dozens of other armed groups have been active in eastern Congo since the 1996-2003 Congo wars.