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5/14/2024 DRC (International Christian Concern) At about 8 p.m. on Monday, May 13, members of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) carried out a brutal attack in Ndimo village, Ituri province, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Islamic extremist group killed 11 Christians, kidnapped several others, and set houses on fire.

“The timing of the attack coincided with the presence of the military administrator of the territory in the Bandavilemba area,” a resident of Ndimo in the Irumu territory told an International Christian Concern (ICC) staff member. “This led to speculation that the ADF terrorists targeted this area due to the administrator’s visit, aiming to disrupt stability and sow fear among the local population.”  

One survivor told ICC that the ADF rebels left many people homeless while other innocent civilians burned to ash. 

“This horrific attack has left a trail of devastation and despair, with the loss of life and destruction of property reaching catastrophic proportions,” the survivor said. “The ruthless and barbaric actions of the ADF rebels have plunged our once peaceful village into a state of fear, leaving us traumatized and vulnerable. The scale of the atrocities committed by the ADF rebels in Ndimo is beyond comprehension, as more than five families mourn their loved ones and struggle to come to terms with the senseless violence that has shattered our community.”  

A Catholic bishop in Beni condemned the attack and called for the civilians to be vigilant and report any strangers who enter the community. 

“The brazen disregard for human life and dignity exhibited by these extremists underscores the urgent need for heightened security measures and robust counterterrorism efforts to safeguard innocent civilians from such brutal acts of violence,” the bishop said. “The resilience and courage displayed by the villagers in the face of such adversity are a testament to their unwavering spirit and determination to rebuild their lives amidst unimaginable tragedy.” 

The ADF’s attack on Ndimo comes a month after the group killed seven people on April 11 near Beni. Although the DRC is a Christian-majority country, more than 100 Islamist groups target Christians living in the east. The ADF, which established ties with the Islamic State group in 2018 and seeks to establish Shariah throughout the region, often kidnaps Christians and kills those who refuse to convert to Islam.

“While the international community recognizes the extreme danger posed by ADF, it does not seem to fully appreciate the religious component of the ADF movement,” ICC’s regional director for Africa said. “Make no mistake – the ADF is an Islamic terrorist group on a quest for global Jihad. The ADF militants spread terror throughout the DRC through murderous rampages on Christian villages, all while espousing extremist propaganda and forcing victims to join their cause.” 

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