NEWS- Suspected Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels who operate in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo are reported to have attacked a prison in Beni this morning where they reportedly freed about 990 prisoners from a jail.
Security Authorities in Beni in East Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) said that the well coordinated attack took place in the early hours of Tuesday October 20th 2020.
The Mayor of Beni City Modeste Bakanamaha said that only 100 out of more than 1,000 inmates remained and can be accounted for following the simultaneous assault on the Kangbayi Central Prison and on the nearby Military Camp that provided security to the Prison.
Mr Bakwanamaha, blamed the attack on a rebel group operating in the area.
He said that the attackers, who came in large numbers, managed to break the prison gate using electrical equipment.
Bakanamaha also revealed that 2 inmates were shot dead during the raid, which started at about 4:30 a.m. local time.
However another security source in Beni said that over 1,300 were locked up in the prison at the time of the attack and many of them could have disappeared in the forests.
It’s now reported that a similar number of inmates escaped when the jail was attacked in June 2017 by the same rebel group.
Although no group has immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, Bakwanamaha said that he believed that the attack was carried out by the ADF who previously did it.
The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a Ugandan armed group, has been active in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo since the mid 1990s and has killed more than 1,000 civilians since the start of 2019, according to UN figures, despite repeated military campaigns aimed at destroying it.
Kangbayi Prison holds a variety of fighters including members of local defence forces and ADF fighters and Bakwanamaha said there were rumours ADF fighters in the prison were preparing a break-out in the days preceding the attack.
About six years ago, ADF started to attack villages, killing people using machetes and guns and they have also abducted hundreds over the years.
UN officials claim that up to 500 civilians have been kidnapped in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo in the last year and a half.
Several attacks attributed to the ADF have also been claimed by Islamic State, although United Nations experts have found no evidence of a direct connection between the two groups, but a year ago the Democratic Republic of Congo Governmemt Army launched a large-scale counter-rebel campaign against the ADF and in response, the group abandoned its bases, split into smaller, more mobile groups, and retaliated against civilians.
According to Uganda Security Sources, Beni is located near the Uganda border and it’s feared that that the freed prisoners may spill into Uganda territory.
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