20 killed in DR Congo violence, including wildlife park

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BENI: Twenty people have been killed in a flareup of violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), including a fresh attack in the renowned Virunga National Park, officials said Monday.

Ten people were killed in the eastern DRC by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) militia, said Jonas Kibwana, administrator of the Beni region in North Kivu province.

“The ADF attacked the town of Mbau… 10 civilians were shot dead and two others were wounded,” Kibwana told AFP, giving a toll confirmed separately by sources in the armed forces and civil society.

Eastern DRC has been wracked by violence since the mid-1990s. The ADF — created by Muslim radicals to oppose the rule of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni — is one of a number of armed groups fighting over the region’s rich mineral resources.

It stands accused of killing hundreds of civilians over the years and of carrying out a deadly attack on UN troops in Beni last December that left 15 peacekeepers dead.

Also in North Kivu, two soldiers and a civilian were killed on Monday when armed men attacked a convoy in the Virunga National Park, one of the most important conservation sites in the world.

The two soldiers were escorting a large convoy of two trucks and 21 motorcycles, said Kakule Silusawa, a senior administrative official in Kibirizi district.

The attack came just 10 days after a park guard was killed and two British tourists and their Congolese driver were kidnapped, in an attack that prompted the park’s authorities to suspend tourist visits until June 4.

The three were freed after two days. The British pair were unharmed, while the driver was injured.