Suspected Islamist militants ambushed a convoy in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo on Wednesday, killed four civilians, took dozens as hostages and set fire to the vehicles afterwards, the government said.
About 80 people were believed to be missing after the attack on a convoy of about 100 vehicles travelling with army protection on the road between the cities of Beni and Butembo.
Despite the government’s imposition of martial law in Ituri and North Kivu province at the beginning of May, attacks by armed groups have continued unabated.
The Ministry of Communications on Twitter said Congo’s army has freed more than 50 of the hostages in Ituri province and operations are underway to recover the remaining captives from a Ugandan Islamist group called the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). It however did disclose the number of people still being held.
The installation of army generals as provincial governors was meant to quell a surge in violence that the military largely attributes to the ADF.