December 7, 2014 / 12:12 PM / in 3 years

Suspected rebels kill at least 12 in northeast Congo village

KINSHASA (Reuters) - Suspected rebels stabbed and hacked to death at least a dozen people in a village in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo on Saturday, a local government official said, in the latest in a series of attacks on civilians.

The attack targeted the village of Ahili, about 10km (6 miles) from the town of Oicha in the territory of Beni, said Alexis Katsurana Wakwima, head of the administrative supervision post in the nearby town of Eringeti.

The attack started at about 7pm while some villagers were in their fields, making it harder for them to raise the alarm, Wakwima told Reuters by telephone, adding that the attackers used weapons such as axes, machetes and knives.

It comes despite vows by the government and a United Nations mission to restore security near Beni after the murder of more than 250 people since October, most carried out with machetes and hatchets, according to local civil society groups.

Authorities and civil society groups blame the attacks on ADF, a secretive organization formed in the 1990s to fight the Ugandan government, though some analysts say there is insufficient evidence to implicate ADF.

The Civil Society of North Kivu group said in a statement on Sunday that at least 34 people were killed in Saturday's attack, including the chief of a neighboring village who was burned alive in his house with 10 family members. The group and Wakwima blamed ADF for the killings.

Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg and David Goodman

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