Deadly clashes took place in the country's northeast following an attack on militiamen who attacked an army post and burned more than 20 houses.

DRC troops on patrol in Manzalaho, a village near Beni, after an attack blamed on the ADF.
DRC troops on patrol in Manzalaho, a village near Beni, after an attack blamed on the ADF. (AFP)

Nearly four soldiers have been killed in the Democratic Republic of Congo, following a day-long battle in the Central African country's northeastern Ituri province.

Clashes occurred on Thursday, and previously on Tuesday between two villages in Djugu territory. Militiamen from the Cooperative for the Development of Congo (CODECO) who burned over 20 houses and attacked a military position, according to army spokesman Lieut. Jules Ngongo.

“Twenty-seven CODECO militiamen were killed. We caused huge losses and damage in the camp of these militiamen and the search continues,” he said.

Fourteen civilians were killed early Friday during an incursion by CODECO militiamen, said Kivu Security Tracker, a monitor group focused on violence in the eastern part of the country.

In a related incident, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) reported an attack by unknown gunmen on its vehicle in Ituri province on Thursday, leaving two staff members injured.

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Ituri has experienced violence since late 2017 with the rise of CODECO militia claiming to defend the Lendu community, who  consist of farmers historically at-odds with their Hema community counterparts, largely made-up of herders.

President Felix Tshisekedi proclaimed a “state of siege” in May in Ituri and North Kivu, replacing senior civilian officials in the state with army officers in a bid to curb growing insecurity orchestrated by armed groups, including CODECO and the Allied Democratic Forces.

READ MORE: Militia attack leaves several civilians dead in DRC

Source: AA