At Least 30 People Butchered After ISIS Attack

( A possible ISIS-linked terror group attacked killed at least thirty people in the Democratic Republican of Congo last weekend, according to local and UN sources.

The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebel group is suspected of carrying out Saturday’s attack in the Ituri region of Congo. Initial reports had the death toll at fourteen, however, by Monday, acting chairman of the chiefdom of Walese Vankutu, Dieudonne Malagayi, told the AFP news agency that civilians in the area went to look for bodies of the victims and discovered another sixteen in the bush.

The death toll of thirty was later confirmed by a UN source.

According to one civilian who helped recover the bodies, most of the victims had been attacked by machetes or shot.

The Allied Democratic Forces is designated by the United States as a terrorist group. It is considered the deadliest of the many armed groups that roam throughout the mineral-rich eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

In August, ADF burned and hacked to death at least nineteen civilians in the Beni territory of North Kivu.

The Catholic Church in the country has reported that the ADF has killed around six thousand civilians since 2013. Meanwhile, the US-based monitor, the Kivu Security Tracker, attributes more than twelve hundred deaths on the group in the Beni area alone since 2017.

In early May, Congolese authorities began a crackdown against ADF with top officials in North Kivu and neighboring Ituri province being replaced by members of the security forces. These security forces have been granted far-reaching emergency powers to crack down on the group.

However, these emergency powers have been criticized by human rights organizations like Amnesty International who warned that granting emergency powers could lead to more human rights violations. Civil society activists have called for an end to the crackdown, saying that the rights of Congolese citizens “are increasingly trampled on.”

Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi in August authorized US special forces to assist the Congolese army in its battle with ADF.

The US maintains that ADF is affiliated with ISIS, however, UN experts have said that there is no conclusive evidence linking the two groups.