KINSHASA (Reuters) - At least eight people were killed in an attack on an army camp in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo late on Thursday that local sources blamed on Rwandan Hutu rebels targeted by a Congolese army operation.
Gunmen raided the camp in the village of Rumangabo, about 45 km (30 miles) north of North Kivu’s provincial capital of Goma, at around 11 p.m., said Jean Claude Mbabanze, the president of the Civil Society of Rutshuru.
“Three soldiers were killed as well as five soldiers’ wives. Three others were wounded, including two soldiers’ wives and the director of a school,” Mbabanze said.
He said the raid was believed to have been carried out by fighters from the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a Congo-based Hutu rebel group whose initial members fled Rwanda after taking part in the 1994 genocide.
Another local activist group confirmed the attack and the casualty figures.
Eastern Congo was ravaged by two wars between 1996 and 2003 that killed millions, most dying from hunger and disease. It remains beset by dozens of armed groups who compete for control over the area’s gold, tin and tantalum.
Congo’s army launched operations against the FDLR in February, provoking retaliatory attacks against Congolese soldiers and civilians.
Suspected FDLR fighters killed six elite presidential guard soldiers in an ambush last month just a few kilometres from the scene of Thursday night’s raid.
Reporting by Aaron Ross; Editing by Joe Bavier and Ral[ph Boulton