Islamist extremists kill nine Christians in Congo

An Islamic militant group killed nine as they attacked three Christian communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo on July 5.

People fleeing violence gather at the Catholic Church of Moungali, one day after three police officers and two gunmen were killed in heavy fighting touched off by President Denis Sassou Nguesso's disputed re-election, in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, April 5, 2016. | REUTERS/Roch Bouka

According to Barnabas Fund, local sources reported that the Islamic militants raided one early morning the three Christian communities near Oicha town and less than two miles from a United Nations station. The sources identified the attackers as the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), who came with their guns and machetes and looted people's homes and stole their livestock. The attack left nine Christians dead, five women and four men, including a church elder.

A similar tragedy took place only two months ago in a predominantly Christian village of North Kivu province where 34 Christians died from axe and machete attacks.

"Between 20:00 and 22:00, the enemy managed to get past army positions and kill peaceful residents in their homes, slashing their throats," Bernard Amisi Kalonda, a local administrator, told Agence France-Presse (AFP), as reported by Daily Mail.

The sectarian attack caused thousands of Christians to flee from the village.

"It was eerie; hundreds of houses abandoned and thousands of people displaced," an unidentified Christian missionary in the area told World Watch Monitor. "I saw four coffins and a funeral or two on the road. I saw people carrying their mattresses and things in cars, on motorcycles, on foot. Hundreds of homes along the road are abandoned. Where there was thriving community, there is now a ghost town."

The extremists followed this up with another murderous attack that killed 13 Christians, including a worship leader and a deaconess of the Church on the Rock mission, which forced the organization to close down its church and school.

"We are heartbroken, questioning our faith, half-terrified, but determined and carrying on," said the organization's founder Mike Anticoli.

ADF, also known as Muslim Defense International (MDI), started as an Islamic militant group from Uganda 20 years ago and resettled in Congo after the Uganda government forced them out of the country.

The United Nations condemned ADF for the mass killing of more than 500 civilians since 2014 in Congo where 95 percent of its population identify as Christians. The rights group also accused a Congolese general for abetting the attacks against the Christians