The UN has confirmed that at least 55 people have been killed in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) by Islamist militants.

An Islamist group called the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) are being blamed for the murder of 55 Congolese people over the weekend, when a refugee camp and village were attacked overnight.

Pillaging the village of Tchabi and a nearby camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) close to the border with Uganda, ADF terrorists kidnapped some villagers, murdered others and burned many homes to the ground.

An Anglican pastor and his daughter were among those wounded in the attack.

The ADF has previously declared its allegiance to the Islamic State, killing almost 900 people in 2020 after the Congolese army began cracking down on the group.

The UN has deployed peacekeepers to the region following the violence, with their senior humanitarian official in the country, David McLachlan-Karr, calling it a “tragic situation.”

“These attacks are unacceptable”, Mr McLachlan-Karr said on Tuesday.

“Parties to the conflict must protect civilian populations and these crimes must not go unpunished. Communities, already very vulnerable, must be able to live in peace wherever they are and return to their homes in safety.”

The Secretary-General of the UN also expressed his “deepest condolences to the families of the victims” and wished “a swift recovery to the injured”.

António Guterres called on the Congolese authorities to investigate the incidents and bring those responsible to justice.

Politicians in the DRC voted yesterday to extend a state of martial law in the country for 15 days, as the army tries to control violence in other parts of the mineral-rich region recently affected by a volcanic eruption.

11 gold-miners were also killed on Wednesday near the northeastern town of Djugu by another militant group called the Patriotic Force and Integrationist of Congo (FPIC).