Rebels attacked a hospital in Congo and killed at least 13 people, including infants and patients, according to hospital and army officials. The Congolese army said three attackers were killed when the army intervened.
Some hospital staff are missing and several houses were burned down in Thursday night’s attack on the Lume medical center in North Kivu province. It is the largest health facility in the region.
Islamic State has claimed responsibility, the group’s news agency said in a statement on its Telegram channel on Saturday.
Among those killed in the attack were three infants and four patients, hospital chief Kule Bwenge told reporters.
“Four blocks of the medical center were set on fire. Several sick guards, as well as a nurse, are missing,” he said.
The reason for targeting the hospital was unclear.
In the nearby village of Kidolo, four other people were hacked to death with machetes and shot dead, apparently as part of the same attack.
North Kivu military spokesman Anthony Mualushayi said the attackers were members of the Mai-Mai militia from the Dido group. In addition to the attackers who were killed, one was captured in the ensuing clashes, he said.
But local civic groups have accused rebels of the Allied Democratic Forces, or ADF, based in Uganda, of carrying out the attack. ADF rebels have been active in eastern Congo for decades and have killed thousands in the region since resurfacing in 2013.
Other attacks were reported last week in the neighboring towns of Bulongo and Kilya, also in North Kivu.
North Kivu is in eastern Congo and borders Uganda and Rwanda. Eastern Congo is under daily threat from armed groups fighting over the region’s rich mineral wealth, which the world mines for electric cars, laptops and cell phones. Infants and patients among 13 killed in Congo hospital attack