Twelve die in eastern DR Congo

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Islamist rebels killed twelve people in two attacks in east Congo where an Ebola epidemic is raging, local authorities said.

Suspected rebels from the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) simultaneously attacked Eringeti and Oicha on Monday neasr Beni, the epicentre of the epidemic, Beni’s territorial administrator Kasereka Donat said.

They killed nine in Eringeti and three in Oicha, he said. A local civil society official based in Beni, Janvier Kasahiryo, gave the same figures.

“Despite a strong deployment of Congolese army troops, the population is in a state of total panic because of these attacks,” Donat said.

Since last month, Islamic State claimed attacks carried out by the ADF, but their relationship is murky. The ADF never claimed allegiance to Islamic State, but the organisation described areas under ADF influence as its ‘Central Africa Province’.

The presence of an Islamist militant group, along with other violent militias and armed criminal bands, severely hampers efforts to contain the world’s second-worst Ebola epidemic on record.

Ebola killed more than 1,700 and last week the World Health Organisation declared it an international health emergency .