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8 killed in attack on DR Congo health center 

North Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo
North Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo

At least eight civilians died Thursday in an attack on a health center in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, according to media reports that cited locals.

The attack occurred in the country's North Kivu province. Locals attributed the attack to the Allied Democratic Forces militia, which pledged loyalty to the Islamic State group in 2019.

"For now we have a toll of eight dead, including the sick and the accountant at the health center," Beni territory civil society leader Omar Kalisia told reporters. Kalisia added that one nurse was missing, and a house was set on fire.

In late 2021, the DRC and neighboring Uganda launched a joint military operation against the Allied Democratic Forces. To date, that effort has not been successful.

The Thursday attack on the health center follows a May 3 attack on a camp for displaced people in the same province, and a May 7 bombing in a village in a neighboring province.

In the city of Goma on Thursday, social affairs minister Modeste Mutinga Mutushayi said that the toll from the attack on the camp for displaced people had risen to 35 people killed, with an additional 37 people injured. The initial death toll was estimated to be nine people killed.

Mutushayi visited Goma with a delegation from the capital, Kinshasa, investigating the attack. The United States blamed the assault on nearby Rwanda and the M23 rebel group, which the U.S. government says has ties to the Rwandan government.

The Rwandan government has rejected those accusations.

A few days later on May 7, a bombing in the neighboring province of South Kivu killed seven people and injured six more. Authorities also blamed M23 for that attack.

The rebel group M23, which is mainly led by Tutsis, recommenced its armed campaign in the DRC in 2021 and has taken control of large swathes of territory since then.

Some information in this report came from Agence France-Presse.

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