At least eight dead in two attacks in DR Congo

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Congolese soldiers on patrol: President Felix Tshisekedi proclaimed a "state of siege" -- effectively martial law -- in the region in a bid to curb ADF bloodshed

At least eight people including a soldier were killed in two separate attacks in the troubled Kivu region of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, a local source and the army said Wednesday.

Lewis Thembo told AFP that Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) fighters had raided the commune of Bulongo in Beni in North Kivu in overnight, killing four women and two men.

"They abandoned a baby on its mother's body," added Thembo, who is president of the local civil service organisation.

Bulongo's mayor Jean-Paul Kahingo confirmed the attack to AFP, as well as the preliminary toll.

In neighbouring South Kivu province, the army said two people including a civilian businessman and a soldier had been killed on Wednesday in an attack on a public bus.

The unidentified attackers took the businessman's "briefcase containing money", the army said, adding that the soldier was unarmed.

The other passengers were unharmed, but the driver was reportedly kidnapped, it said.

According to a respected US-based monitor, the Kivu Security Tracker (KST), some 120 armed groups operate in eastern DR Congo, of which the ADF is considered to be the deadliest.

The DRC's Catholic Church says the ADF has killed around 6,000 civilians since 2013, while KST blames it for more than 1,200 deaths in the Beni area alone since 2017.

In March the United States officially linked the ADF, a historically Ugandan Islamist group, to the Islamic State.

DR Congo President Felix Tshisekedi proclaimed a "state of siege" in May -- effectively martial law -- in North Kivu and neighbouring Ituri province in a bid to curb ADF bloodshed.