Radical Islamists have killed at least 30 Christians, raped 10 young women and girls, and kidnapped fifteen others in a spate of recent attacks in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the Christian Post reported Wednesday.
Between November 20 and December 3, jihadis carried out violent raids on five villages in North Kivu province, northeastern DRC. Armed with guns, machetes, clubs, swords, and axes, the Islamists surrounded churches in each of the five villages and proceeded to assault the Christians inside.
“There was a throng of Christians flooding the streets in a helpless situation, as well as radical Muslim extremists surrounding five churches,” said one eyewitness. “Ten girls had been raped and 15 girls abducted from the Anglican Church and Roman Catholic Church, with 14 Christians admitted to a hospital in critical condition with injuries to their heads, and others with fractured hands and legs due to the use of guns, machete, clubs, Somali swords and axes.”
According to local authorities, the militants specifically targeted Christians, who make up 95 percent of the local population, killing those who refused to convert to Islam. The Islamists responsible for the attacks reportedly belong to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a terrorist group allied with the Islamic State.
Under the leadership of Musa Baluku, the ADF has become the most active and violent terrorist group in the DRC over the past two years, and has committed scores of attacks involving murder, rape, and abduction of women and children, as well as slavery and forced conversions.
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In one the most recent attacks, one Christian survivor witnessed the murder of his wife and three children as he hid in a bathroom. In another village, a Christian pastor saw all five members of his family slaughtered after they refused to convert to Islam.
“They also tried to force my wife and our four children to convert to Islam, but when they refused to convert, they shot my wife in the head while our four children were cut into pieces with a Somali sword,” the pastor said.
According to International Christian Concern (ICC), more than 800 people have been killed in violent militant attacks in the Kivu region of DRC just since October 31, 2020.
“ISIS has been able to form a new sect in this area in the past several months known as the Islamic State Central African Province,” ICC reported. “As the government continues to fail to protect their people, Christians in this area will suffer the brunt of Islamic Extremist groups.”
The Kivu Security Tracker, a research initiative that maps unrest in Eastern Congo, reported that the ADF has kidnapped 5,361 people since 2017 and violently killed at least 3,971 people.
Along with its frequent attacks in North Kivu province, the ADF is also suspected of carrying out atrocities in Ituri province, including the murder of at least 58 people in attacks on two villages in September.