The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) army says it has gunned down a top rebel leader during an operation in the eastern part of the country hours after assailants killed 13 victims in a ‘gruesome’ attack.
This was revealed on Saturday by army spokesman General Leon Richard Kasonga who said soldiers shot dead Mouhamed Mukubwa Islam – one of the top three leaders of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) group.
“The killing of this leader is another sign that we have the capacity to end this rebellion in the coming days,” General Leon Richard Kasonga told Al Jazeera on Saturday.
“It will not be an easy task as the enemy is trying to turn the [local] population and opinions against the army by killing people in the city,” he added.
The incident comes two days after armed militant groups in the restive Ituri province of the country killed three Ebola health workers and critically injured four others in an attack in the area.
The incident was confirmed by the Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Ghebreyesus said in a series of tweets that the attack occurred in the Biakato Mines and Mangina response centres in Ituri province.
Ebola responders in the DRC have previously been targeted by militias and people who do not believe the fatal virus is real and also have deep suspicion about how the vaccine is administered.