Seven people, including a police officer, were killed on Wednesday in an attack, attributed to a Rwandan Hutu militia, on a village in Democratic Republic of Congo’s restive east, local officials said.
The Hutu rebel group Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) attacked the village of Bwiza in troubled North Kivu province, said army spokesperson Guillaume Ndjike Kaiko.
“The FDLR attacked a police station. A police officer was killed and several civilians died” before the army intervened and “routed” the militia, he said.
Jean Lukoo, a representative of the region’s governor, said five civilians, a police officer and a member of the national intelligence agency (ANR) were killed in the attack. The assailants made off with a herd of stolen cattle, Lukoo said.
North Kivu has served as a base for Hutu rebels since the genocide of Tutsis by majority Hutus in neighbouring Rwanda in 1994.
The region has long been at the centre of conflict in DRC and of tensions in the wider African Great Lakes region.
The FDLR has not carried out major military action since 2001, but is regularly accused of atrocities on Congolese soil.
In other violence in eastern DRC, two peacekeepers were killed on Monday during an attack on a UN military base by a secretive rebel group, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), which is dominated by hardline Ugandan Muslims.
ADF rebels also reportedly killed about 20 civilians in North Kivu on Saturday, according to MONUSCO, the UN’s peacekeeping mission in the country.
The Congolese army said it was carrying out an “aggressive operation” against the ADF, a group accused by Kinshasa and the UN mission of killing more than 700 people in the Beni region since October 2014.