Ten suspected Ugandan militia members have been killed in an army offensive on a rebel base in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the DRC military said Thursday.
The early morning operation in the Beni region of North Kivu province targeted the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a militia created by Muslim radicals to oppose Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni which also operates in the DRC.
General Marcel Mbangu, operations commander against Ugandan rebels in North Kivu, told AFP that at midday "provisional estimates" showed 10 ADF members had been killed.
Witnesses described hearing explosions from heavy and light weapons.
"This news gives hope — the army has gone on the offensive, even if there are still doubts about the enemy's identity," said Noella Muluwavyo, a civil society leader in the territory of Beni.
The operation follows another flareup of violence in eastern DRC where a number of armed groups fight over the region's rich mineral resources.
On Monday, officials said 10 civilians were shot dead in the regional town of Mbau by ADF militia, some 500 metres from army position.
The group stands accused of killing hundreds of civilians over the years and of carrying out a deadly attack on UN troops in Beni last December that left 15 peacekeepers dead.