Four people, including two Chinese nationals, were killed in an attack by militiamen on an artisanal gold mine in northeast Democratic Republic of Congo, civil and military sources said on Thursday.
Army spokesman Jules Ngongo said men from the Cooperative for the Development of Congo (CODECO) group on Wednesday killed two Chinese nationals, a Congolese woman and a Ugandan national at a mine in Damblo in Ituri province.
Gold-rich Ituri has been plagued by violence since late 2017. CODECO claims to defend the interests of the Lendu, one of the province’s ethnic groups, and has split into rival factions.
Local civil society leader Lokana Pay told AFP the bodies of two of the 12 Chinese nationals at the site had been found, and the other 10 remained unacounted for.
The attack is the latest against Chinese in mining sites in the vast and resource-rich DRC after unidentified armed men kidnapped five Chinese working in the province of South Kivu on Sunday.
President Felix Tshisekedi declared a state of siege in Ituri and neighbouring North Kivu province in May to fight the armed groups.
The exceptional measure saw senior civilian officials replaced by the army and police officers.
But massacres and abductions continue, with at least 29 people killed in an attack in Ituri on Monday.