Kinshasa / Anatolia

Eleven civilians were killed in an attack believed to have been carried out by Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels in a shopping mall in northeastern DR Congo, according to an army spokesman.

In a statement on Friday, DRC spokesman Jules Ngongo said the rebels had fired shots during an attack on and around the Komando shopping center in Ituri state.

The spokesman added that the rebels also set fire to some commercial and residential buildings.

According to Ngongo, the army launched a military operation with the support of the forces of the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) against the rebels and pushed them to retreat to the forests adjacent to the site of the attack.

Noting that the situation is under the control of the army, he called on residents to calm down, not panic and return to business.

In turn, media reports said that hundreds of citizens were displaced to neighboring villages as a result of the attack.

The “Allied Democratic Forces” militia is accused of committing a series of massacres in eastern Congo, which left at least 6,000 people dead.

The “Allied Democratic Forces” originated in northeastern Uganda in the 1990s, and they have been attacking and killing civilians, as well as United Nations personnel, in eastern DRC for several decades, according to local media.

President Felix Tshisekedi declared a “state of siege” in Ituri and North Kivu states last May, replacing the state’s top civilian officials with army officers in an effort to curb rising insecurity.

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