In a series of attacks on villages in Eastern DR Congo, more than 40 people were killed on Friday, local sources have said.
The sources are blaming the Cooperative for the development of the Congo militant group.
The group was accused of carrying out attacks in at least three villages in Ituri province, around 60 kilometres ( miles) from the provincial capital of Bunia.
CODECO is one of the myriad armed groups operating in the restive mineral-rich region.
The militia claimed to protect the Lendu community from another ethnic group, the Hema, and the army.
“In Kilo Etat we found 36 bodies, in Matete eight, and for Itendy I don’t yet have a number,” a regional administrator, Innocent Matukadala, told AFP.
He said the CODECO militants had attacked at around 0500 GMT, with the DR Congo army responding around three hours later.
Robert Basiloko, a civil society leader in the same district, gave a provisional toll of 43 killed, including five children.
“Every day there are deaths, deaths — We’re tired of it,” he said.
Eastern Congo is plagued by dozens of armed groups, many of which are a legacy of regional wars that flared in the 1990s and 2000s.
Ituri province is one of the violence hotspots, where attacks claiming dozens of lives are routine.