The military campaign was launched after DRC’s President Felix Tshisekedi authorised Uganda’s troops to enter the country to help fight the terror group blamed for several deadly attacks in the past.

Allied Democratic Forces rebel militia was established in the early 1990s in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Allied Democratic Forces rebel militia was established in the early 1990s in the Democratic Republic of Congo. (Reuters)

Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo have launched joint air and artillery strikes in eastern DRC against a Daesh-allied militia known as the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).

Ugandan army spokesperson Flavia Byekwaso said on Tuesday that she was yet to have details of the attacks but they would not be a one-off.

"As announced, the targeted and concerted actions with the Ugandan army started today with air strikes and artillery fire from Uganda on the positions of ADF terrorists in the DRC," DRC's government spokesperson Patrick Muyaya said on Twitter.

A local chief and a resident said they heard explosions on Tuesday morning in Watalinga territory, North Kivu province, in the borderlands of eastern DRC.

"There is a real panic here at home, especially because we were not informed of this situation," said resident Julien Ngandayabo. 

"We have suffered too much with the ADF, who have massacred our families. We are waiting to see if this is the solution."

Pascal Saambili, head of the Watalinga chiefdom, said the community woke up to the sound of heavy bombardment which continued during the morning.

On Monday, the Democratic Republic of Congo had denied agreeing to joint operations with Uganda to track down the ADF, insisting they were only sharing intelligence.

READ MORE: UN says 200 killed, 40,000 displaced in DRC by ADF militia since January

Links with Daesh

Daesh had said their local affiliate was behind a November 16 attack that killed seven people, including the three bombers, and injured dozens more.

The November 16 attack was the third Daesh has claimed in Uganda. 

It also claimed responsibility for an attack at a restaurant in a suburb of Kampala on October 23 that killed a waitress, while another attack on October 8 killed no one.

The ADF was established in the early 1990s in Uganda. 

The Ugandan military later forced the rebels into eastern DRC, where many rebel groups are able to operate because the central government has limited control there.

READ MORE: Deadly twin explosions rock Uganda capital Kampala

Source: TRTWorld and agencies