A Congolese militia decapitated 42 policemen in an ambush near the central Democratic Republic of Congo city of Kananga, a local official said Saturday.
Francois Kalamba, speaker of the Kasai provincial assembly, said the Kamuina Nsapu militant group ambushed a group of police officers traveling between Kananga and Tshikapa a day earlier.
The militants captured the police officers and decapitated 42 of them, Kalamba said, noting that the militants freed six of the officers because they could speak the local Tshiluba language.
The attack marks the deadliest encounter between security forces and the militant group since last summer when security forces killed the group’s leader, sparking an insurrection that has spread to five provinces throughout the country.
According to United Nations figures, more than 400 people have been killed due to the violence in central Congo. Many of the dead have been dumped into mass graves, the UN said last week after discovering 10 alleged grave sites.