The army was chasing ADF fighters on Thursday when they found the bodies of 25 civilians, who had been “taken by surprise in their fields on New Year’s Eve,” Donat Kibuana, the administrator of Beni territory in North Kivu province, told AFP on Friday.
The massacre took place in the village of Tingwe, about eight kilometers (five miles) from the town of Eringeti.
The head of the civil society organization in Tingwe, Bravo Mohindo Vukulu, said at least 30 had died.
“People had gone to their fields to prepare for New Year's Eve, the ADF picked them up one by one,” he said.
“We had alerted our forces that the ADF had passed through from the east to the northeast of Eringeti. They did not react quickly,” he added.
The ADF, which originated in the 1990s, is one of dozens of militias that plague the eastern provinces of the vast country.