The bodies of six people were found with stab wounds and bullet holes in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo on Wednesday. Local and military sources said on Thursday that they were suspected to have been killed by alleged rebels.
A local activist group called The Centre of Study for the Promotion of Peace, Democracy and Human Rights (CEPADHO), has said the bodies were found in the village of Kamakombu, which is located more than 30 kilometres northeast of the territorial capital of Beni.
In a statement, CEPADHO said it thinks the victims were killed by fighters from the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), which is an militant group that was established in Uganda and has mainly operated on the Congolese side of the border for the last twenty years and illicitly trades minerals and timber.
The death toll was confirmed by a commander of Congolese army operations against the ADF, who wanted to remain anonymous. He believes that ADF was involved and informs that the bodies were greatly decomposed.
There have been 500 people killed in overnight murders in the Beni area since last October, according to local activists. These people were mostly killed in attacks with machetes and hatchets.
Despite ADF being blamed for most of the deaths by the government and UN mission in Congo, experts of a UN panel have said in a report last week that many of the killings they had made an enquiry into did not seem similar to known ADF attacks that had occurred in the past.